Manatu

Pig's Ear Park and Other Adventures

Sonle Lap

Means frsh water lake.
About an hours hard driving out of Siem Reap, down a dusty side road and finally some evidence that a lake was near, houses on stilts….

Lots of morning glory plants, they eat it, quite hard and stalky, I know, I have had some….
Anyway finally arrived at the lake, well the start of it, lots of waterways with quite large houses on stilts made of all sorts of things, from tarpaper to bamboo to some quite substantial wooden ones, up very high, two stories, underneath, fishing nets and fish traps made of bamboo.
Staggered onto a ramshackle boat, me , guide and 15 year driver…not a life jacket in sight…
The boat was just a wooden one but with the most caliante set up for steering and direction I have ever seen. Motor was at the rear and the boy driving just put his foot on the appropriate piece of rope , forward or reverse which ran the length of the boat,on the outside…

We rode down the waterways past all sorts of types of accommodation to the lake, which is huge, guide says has 3000 k circumference but only about five metres deep.Deeper in the rainy season and the circumference increases to about 12000 ks, I must check those figures,although you could not see any land from the entrance to the lake..

Many varieties of fish caught here, lots of little ones drying on the side of the road…covered in dust..But also saw some quite big ones being caught. Fish traps and nets are used.

There is also a lot of bird life here, saw swallows but not the pelicans which are supposed to be here. There are also crocodiles in one part….
About a thousand Vietnamese live at the entrance to the lake and mov e back to the main village when it floods…they looked very poor to me but had a floating school provided by some charity or other….
Guide says the Vietnamese control both Cambodia and Laos…..

After a little wallowing in the open water motor was restarted and we returned to the main village. I have never seen anything like it, all these houses on huge stilts, gives a new meaning to pole house…
Stopped at one of the big ones for lunch. Up a zillion damn steep stirs, had to come down backwards…why do they have such steep stairs when they are so little…..

Lunch was provided for me, brought from Siem Reap. All packed in a bamboo container, food was wrapped in banana leaves. Quite tasty, spring rolls, chicken, fish, rice and a strange collection of gelatinous deserts.

I sat in lonely splendour on the back deck, front one overlooks the water. After lunch I went snooping, amazed to see a wood cooking fire set up on bricks in the kitchen, wonder how many houses burn down….Very spacious, apparently this family do homestays…
I even tried out a hammock, easy to get into harder to get out of….

Most enjoyable sojurn.
Back to the main road and I am now in a shithole called Kompomg Thom. Gives Shandan a run for its money as most downmarket place I have ever visited….
Kompomg Thom Village Hotel is pretty bad too. Luckily I put my sheet sleeping bag in, as bottom sheet then a red blanket affair…Going to be a long hard afternoon and evening as it is now only 4 pm….
Have asked to be collected at 8 am, cannot wait to get the Sofitel…Just as well I have agood book. TV does not go, Initially neither did the internet, no power, what they really meant was they did not want turn on thier generator.

I saw a European couple making an escape by tuktuk, I would do the same but dont think there is anything around here to see, only flat terrain covered in rice paddies….

A Batty story…

Keep forgetting about this but it tickled me…On the way to Phonsavah in Laos we stopped at a village market, I was intigued by the novel method of bbqing chicken. Large concrete trough, fire underneath and a strange pulley method of rotissering, chickens looked good. I asked the guide what had the end ones been marinated in, they were hanging up with a
heap of ordinary looking chickens, they were bats of course, big buggers and quite blue.
More expensive than chicken as well….

1 Comment

  1. Great, just what I need for New Years EVe!!!!
    Happy New Year
    xxx

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