Wednesday 9 May 2012

Cambodia: Tonle Sap Lake

At 10.00am the minibus from Tara River Boat Tours collected us from the hotel to spend the morning on Tonle Sap Lake.

Cambodian puppets - Tonle Sap lakeOn arrival the at the terminal, we clambered into a small boat which chugged along a narrow channel of shallow cocoa-coloured water into the lake past floating houses, shops, petrol stations, schools and even churches to a floating restaurant, shop, fish and crocodile farm cooperative. Having seen Kampung Ayer in other parts of the world, I wanted to ask how the waste was managed on the lake but the foamy brown water probably answered the question.

Tonle Sap lake boats
The morning tour included lunch on a larger boat where we enjoyed freshly-cooked chicken curries in the company of an identically named pairing and a lady from Sandakan in Borneo who may have helped in my quest to get Mrs M to climb Mount Kota Kinabaloo.

Boat people - Tonle Sap lakeAt 2.30pm the boat struggled in the shallow water as we made our way back to the terminal where hundreds of yellow-hatted tourists descended the gangplanks for their day on the lake. A thoroughly enjoyable morning. 

Tom Yam soup - Alliance Cafe, Siem ReapIn the afternoon we visited ‘Artisans d’Angkor’ in Stung Thmey Street where novices are trained from the age of eighteen to become craftsmen in wood, stone, silver, silk and lacquer.  Our guide led us through the different studios where students tapped away with phenomenal skill using tools which they are also taught to make. I wonder if they take foreign students?  The rather pricey statue purchased from the beautiful souvenir shop by Mrs M will make a small contribution to the international funding received by this worthy organisation.

After yet another change of clothes, we travelled by tuk-tuk to the Alliance Café restaurant in Makara Street for dinner where a lotus salad preceded a hearty Tom Yam soup. Mrs M followed her chicken curry with an apple tart that was more French than French apple tart.

We’re beginning to realise why the food is so good in Cambodia.

No comments: