Day one in Siem Reap we slept late and didn't make it to breakfast until a little after 8AM. 

Cambodian Fact: If you sleep past sun rise you are considered lazy.
Trish & Hubby Fact: We were lazy for most of our trip.

The top thing I wanted to do in Cambodia was the Floating Village (Yeah, it beat out Angkor Wat for me....I know, call me crazy) so after our lazy morning we met our personal tuk-tuk driver for the week, Mr. Tola and headed out to for our first adventure.

Cambodian Fact: The driving in Cambodia is CRAZY. It appears that most people drive on the right side of the road - unless they don't want to, then they don't.  I can't tell you how many times it looked like we were going to have a head on collision.  There was only 1 traffic light in Siem Reap.  Most roads were dirt with the exception of the few going into the main part of town.
Check out the traffic pattern - vehicles going every which way....
In the tuk-tuk driving to take a boat to the floating village. Holding on for dear life. (Notice where we are on the street?)

Cambodian Fact - In Cambodia they use the US dollar for anything over $1. If the price is under $1 they use Cambodian Riel. 

After driving by tuk-tuk for about 45 minutes we arrived safely at our destination.
To travel to Kompong Phluk Village you must take a boat (duhhh). We paid $15 USD per person and traveled on our own personal long boat.  Our driver was an 18 year old young man who spoke a little English.
Life on the river:
The school house
How to get from here to there:
Very young children were out in boats, alone or with friends/siblings.
These two boys stole my heart.  I had so much fun photographing them.  They were so cute and didn't have a care in the world.  They were playing and just having a good is hard for these boys but they don't know it, so maybe it really isn't that hard.  I tried to imagine my boys being out there - I would FREAK out - I need to know where they are ALL the time.  I could never trust Boys 2 & 3 on a boat.  Are you kidding me?  They would have flipped the boat and started fighting over the oars. 

                                         I wish I knew how to get this picture to their Mommas.
When we arrived at the village there were more boats with women and children in them waiting to give tours through the village and in the mangroves.  We opted to take one at $8 per person.  This is our tour guide, a young lady that I would guess to be about 15 years old.  She wasn't feeling well, but she worked through it and gave us our tour.  Hubby and I felt really bad and wanted to take over the rowing, but out little boat was SO SMALL we were afraid to move as we were afraid it would tip over. 
Even though my heart was breaking at every turn the one thing I noticed was that people seemed happy and there was so much LAUGHTER.  The laughter in Cambodia is contagious.  Giggling and laughter is something I will always think of when thinking of Cambodia.

The little guy on the edge of the boat yelled at me to take his picture - he was about to do a backflip and wanted to make sure I saw.  :o)
If you will notice there are no power lines or lines of any kind in this village.
They were doing some sort of welding on this boat.
Notice the little boy in this picture. :)
I thought this little old lady was precious. I wonder what she has seen in her lifetime.  I wish I could have sat down and talked with her about her life.  I wonder how many people she lost to Khmer Rouge.  Did she have children that they took away?  What about her parents?  Were they killed? Was she forced to work in the fields?  How did she make it out alive?  I bet she has an amazing story to tell.
This was another very emotional day for me.  I was on the verge of tears many times.  But I'm starting to see that the people of Cambodia aren't sad.  They are happy with what they have.

After our tour through the village and the mangroves we were ready for a little lunch so we stopped at this little touristy restaurant. 
I was totally psyched to get the crispy and spicy frog, but as it turns out they were fresh out....however they did have fried water snake!  YUM-O, bring it on!! 
PS, these prices are tourist prices...typically you can eat for $2-4 per person.
Hubby wanted to try the Black Panther Beer, a true Cambodian beer. In the end we imagined it tasted kind of like Panther Piss.  True story. 

Cambodian Fact: Cambodian's don't do beer well.
Oh YUM, our lunch is here!  Fried snake and as a special treat they threw in the snake eggs.  Are we lucky or what?!
I decided to go with the lesser of two evils and try the fried snake first.  To my surprise it was actually pretty good - see face.--------------------------------------------------->
Hummm...taste like chicken.  The only problem is there isn't much meat and way too many bones.
Next up:  SNAKE EGGS.  I'll admit it, I'm scared.  The snake eggs were a little squishy so I knew they were not cooked all the way through.  I was prepared with beer in hand just in case I couldn't handle it.   Ready, set, go....
OH MY GOSH, OH MY GOSH, OH MY I bit into the egg it squirted in my mouth!!! Yuck, yuck, yuck!!! can see the white milky substance slipping out of my mouth. 
Thank God I had a BIG bear handy!
Hubby tried them AFTER I did.  He actually tasted it without freaking out and said it tasted kind of buttery, but when it came down to it he said he would rather drink Panther Piss (the beer, not really Panther Piss)  than eat snake eggs.  Not me...give me snake eggs over Panther Piss any day. 
Check out the way they transport ice around here:
The young man in this photo teaches English to the villagers - he would like English books. I have his address in case anyone is interested in sending books. Just let me know and I will post the address.
After lunch we headed back by boat to where our tuk-tuk was waiting for us.  When we arrived there were tons of tour buses and a few cattle hanging out.

Cambodian Fact:  Cattle roam free in this country.
On the trip back to our hotel we had to wait for the cattle to get out of our way.  They were in no hurry. 
Tomorrow's highlights:
Ankor Thom, South Gate
They Bayon
Leper King Terrace

Have a great day and be thankful for what you have.
~ Trish
Suzy rowden
11/1/2012 10:09:40 pm

Thanks for sharing.....amazing culture.....wish we had visited,but sadly not enough time or funds......would like that young mans address.....keep writing.....i love it....cheers

11/1/2012 11:13:09 pm

What I love is that the people of Cambodia ARE happy and they are hard workers....Yes, they will beg sometimes and if you give a dollar to one kid, then thousands will come out of the woodworks, but I just love that country and the people.....Thank you for sharing your trip with us!

11/2/2012 11:25:08 am

I teared up while reading.

11/2/2012 01:13:15 pm

Wow, Trish. This one was amazing. The pictures are truly fantastic!!!! Framers! Especially the picture of the two boys on the boat facing you. Priceless.
You are so incredibly crazy to try the food you try. When the snake eggs squished and you said white junk was dripping from your mouth I almost lost it!!!! When Jer said they were buttery, I almost lost it!!! I would weigh 80 lbs because I would never eat.
I'm so excited you are truly seeing the world. You would never trade this experience and opportunity for anything!

Tracy H
11/2/2012 03:56:18 pm

This is so good Trish...I can't wait to see more. I get to see Cambodia through your eyes! : ) You should make a book on shutterfly.

11/2/2012 03:57:13 pm

Trish, it seems to me through reading your blog that you truly do see the majestic spirit of Cambodia. It remains my favorite place that I have ever seen. Two trips were not enough, but I feel like I am traveling vicariously through you. Thanks!

Kelly G
11/4/2012 09:22:08 pm

I love that picture of the two boys too. The one of the snake eggs...not so much! (Good call having the beer handy.)

11/10/2012 10:19:24 am

What type of books does the teacher need/want? I would love to send some over for part of our Christmas.


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