Seam Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap Travel Blog

 › entry 13 of 19 › view all entries
Seam Reap Airport

 

 

 

 

Seam Reap, Cambodia. 

 

 

 

 

 

We arrived Seam Reap, Cambodia from Kuala Lumpur early morning 2 November.

 

 

We were flying with Air Asia, and in spite that Air Asia is low cost the flight was comfortable.

Flying with Air Asia

 

I have been flying with Air Asia several times and have always been satisfied the flights.  

 

 

We arranged our tour to Cambodia from Norway, and as we had only three day in Cambodia we had to be effective.

 

I think internet is excellent tools when I am planning trips.  On the internet I found the address to Phan Sy Ros, and together with him we were able to make a program which looked very exciting.

 

We arranged for a van with driver and a tour guide.

 

I had a few must on our program; Tonle Sap, Ankor Wat and Ta Phrom.  The rest were up to Phan Sy Ros to suggest for us.  He made us an offer we found perfect.

Our hotel; Angkor Star Hotel

 

As we arrived Seam Reap we found that the program was too tight visiting lots of temples and a silk factory,  but we had no problem to rearrange it.

 

For those of you that are interested: The address to our Seam Reap tour fixer, we just called him our fixer. 

 

We were very satisfied with the service he and his crew gave us.

 

 

angkorwatdriver_fixer@yahoo.co.uk

 

 

 

Tonele Sap and the Floating Village

 

The first day in Cambodia we went to The Tonle Sap with the Floating Village.

The Tonlé Sap is a combined lake and river system of huge importance to Cambodia.

It is the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia and is an ecological hotspot that was designated as a UNESCO biosphere in 1997.

For most of the year the lake is fairly small, around one meter deep and with an area of 2,700 square km. During the monsoon season, however, the Tonle Sap River which connects the lake with the Mekong River reverses its flow.

Water is pushed up from the Mekong into the lake, increasing its area to 16,000 square km and its depth to up to nine meters, flooding nearby fields and forests. The floodplain provides a perfect breeding ground for fish.

Tonle Sap is home to a large Vietnamese and Cham people community, living in floating villages around the lake.  The village is based on house boats.  As we visited Tonle Sap just at the end of the monsoon, we could only see the tops of the threes.  Our guide told us that between dry season and monsoon the difference of the water stand is 12 - 15 meter.

Many people are living of fishing from the lake. 

 

The population can be as many 9000 people living in this village on the lake, partly on stilts and partly on boats.

 

The boat houses moves their location depending if it is dry season or monsoon.  The lake rises twice each year.

 

 

Arriving we were met with small almost naked children people begging for money.

 

We had a boat journey on the lake, visiting a floating souvenir shop and an alligator “farm”.  Alligators are not natural in this area; the farms are there for us tourists.

 

Mothers with children from infants to 5-6 years old were meeting us in boats wanting to earn some money.  Selling small bananas, cans with lemonade or just hoping we would take some photos of the children with snakes round their necks.  I think the first words this children learns is; “just one dollar sir”.

 

The village has its own church, school and shops.

Bananas, one dollar mister
 

 

I`m rather impressed with the schools gym room.  And of cause all the children is good swimmers. 

 

 

The privacy is little for the people living in the floating village.  The walls on the floats is of palm leaves and blankets, just one room for whole family, and the outside toilet leads directly into the lake.  Batteries provide them with pthe ower, and all transport is with boats. 

 

Some of the houses are in better condition, some seem to be falling into the lake, and some of the houses can hardly bee called houses it is just a shelter.

It is an incredible poverty, people living together with chicken, hens and dogs.  No electricity and no running water.  The hygienic conditions are terrible, but I do not think the children were dirty, they seemed to love swimming.

Visiting Tonle Sap and the Floating Village was an interesting, but first of all, a chocking experience for all of us.

Souvernir shop
  The poverty was breathtaking. 

We were prepared on the poverty but not on the conditions on The Floating Village. This was our first day in Cambodia, and just one of us had a few one dollar bills. 

I wanted to by some bananas, give the mothers some dollars for taking their photos but had no less than a 100 dollar bill and none of them could give me change. 

You might think we are delicate and naïve, but the conditions by and at the Floating Village was beyond imagined and I do not have a name on the stink that hang over the area. 

Driving back to our hotel we asked our driver to stop by a change office.  We all wanted to have one dollar bills, lots of one dollar bills.  We are going to travel round in Ankor and Seam Reap, and we are sure we will meet lots of children trying to sell us bananas, pineapple, shawls, post cards, books……………………….. 

And as my twin sisters husband said; Here you have the opportunity to give the aid without greedy middle hands.  So we wanted to be prepared. 

 

 

"Just one dollar mister" 

 

 

 

arlene0725 says:
You folks did have a different experience than I did. My friend & I were bummed out that the road in Siem Reap are full of 'pot holes' and very dusty. I guess, after being in Thailand, I thought Cambodia's infrastructure was much better. Their gas/petrol station (hand pump) was a sight to see too.
Posted on: Feb 18, 2008
X_Drive says:
I would love to visit Seam Reap, but I know it would cost me hundreds of dollars in "just one dollar, mister"s. I can't say no to a little kid. :)
Posted on: Jan 22, 2008
tvillingmarit says:
You are welcome
Posted on: Jan 22, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Seam Reap Airport
Seam Reap Airport
Flying with Air Asia
Flying with Air Asia
Our hotel; Angkor Star Hotel
Our hotel; Angkor Star Hotel
Bananas, one dollar mister
Bananas, one dollar mister
Souvernir shop
Souvernir shop
The floating village has its own c…
The floating village has its own …
Resturant
Resturant
Bathing children
Bathing children
Schools gym room
Schools gym room
Siem Reap Hotels & Accommodations review
High valued 3 star hotel in Siam Reap Cambodia
Hotel Angkor Star has a strategic location in the heart of Siam Reap Town, within walking distance to all shopping, entertainment, financial and busin… read entire review
Siem Reap
photo by: genetravelling