Thursday, May 6, 2010

Seeking Siem Reap

Day 1
(1 May 2010). Tonle Sap impressed the seeker.

Touched down at 8am. They are behind Malaysia by 1 hour. Felt jaded but seriously just lack of sleep as usual. Choose (silly me!) to do last minute packing reason being “haven’t even finish UNpacking Hong Kong trip”…sigh….Travel salah, tak travel pun salah - can’t win wan lor…


One MOST important thing I MUST highlight


There you go. Now that I got it out of my chest! Phew…

One and only MAJOR activity for the day - visit Tonlé Sap! Apa itu right? It’s a lake. YUP! You heard me awight. What’s the big deal hor, lake only mahh….. The same thought crossed my mind, but I figure that since am in another country, I should at least cover some of these places and see what they have to offer as you never know what they have install for you. Ngam?!? True enough - SURPRISE !!!!

How should I begin this… hemm…. Tonlé Sap basically means "Large Fresh Water River" in Khmer. Obviously lar right, it is a lake after all mah *still nonchalant at this point* - normal lor. Aahhhhh….. How big will be the question next betul?!?! It is the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia and is an ecological hot spot that was designated as a UNESCO biosphere in 1997!!!

The Tonlé Sap is unusual for two reasons: 1) its flow changes direction twice a year, and 2) the portion that forms the lake expands and shrinks dramatically with the seasons. In fact, lemme just share with you on this map DARK BLUE - DRY SEASON, LIGHT BLUE - FLOOD SEASON, can you see the MASSIVE transformation?? Simply put - from approximately 3,000 square km to 12,000 square km ie 4 times BIGGER. Can imagine it now? SCARY!

The lake size on Cambodia map - HUGE!!! Don’t ever doubt the power of THE lake (or god!). By the way, so that everyone knows, you can take a 5 HOURS river cruise to Phnom Pehn from Siem Reap (Biqque, you hear that - go do it GURL!)

Since we were there during “dry season” hence the water is VERY VERY VERY murky macam teh tarik colour like that lar.

Anyway, we really don’t have any expectation as all these info was given when we stopped in the middle of this huge lake. My heart was saying, such a BORIIIIIING river ride, is this “their” definition of a “LAKE”? Said (or thought) with much “SNOBBISHNESS & ARROGANTNESS”, am soooo ashamed with meself.

I guess this is god’s way of a “revenge” as when we hit the river/lake mouth, I was..... in awe. GOODNESS GRACIOUS, I see NO END of the lake, I mean… might as well call it a SEA!!! As usual lar, where there's a source of income (fish, fish & more fish) means there would be people living here - thus, floating village. I don’t want to explain much here, just check out how “true to nature while embracing the future” they are (below pics).

Few things that caught my eye.

1) 2 floating village - (i) Cambodian & (ii) Vietnamese
2) Floating school - each community
3) Chicken can be rear on water (where there’s a will, there’s a way!)
5) Floating church - aiks! what happen to mosque and temple :)
6) Kids showcasing talent with python for USD1 (naked mind you!)
7) Even an one arm boy can row a boat to earn a living

And…. During monsoon season, they will dock and live on dry land; apparently the current is too strong and dangerous; interesting, even lake have strong current, hemmm…..

So, are you as impress now?

Hyperlink credit : Wikipedia


manglish said...

yeah i am hahahaha i went there many years ago, very rural eh...but very nice hahaah

Biqque said...

bus vs boat...hmmm...lemme think...hmmm...lemme THINK again...(pengsan)

Lily Riani said...


many year ago sure lagi kuno right.


bus stagnant at ur seat, boat leh jln2.

இ Baŋäŋaz இ said...

Wow wow wow! Very impressed with the expansion and contraction. Yeah why no mosque or temple? Do the chickens there know how to swim since they are surrounded with water since the first day they were hatched? haha. tQ

Biqque said...

owh, boat besar ke? like ferry type ke, island hopping type ke, or fishing boat type?

its simple love said...

These are incredible photographs. The floating villages remind me of Belen in the Amazon where they have the same thing. So interesting to see that idea around the world. Amazing experiences you are having. Life changing.


Wenny said...

Wah Cik Kak! Travel lagi? Syok syok betul lar! By the time you reach my age, you would have travelled the world. Nice gambar, you have good eyes at capturing LIFE-scapes!

Btw, next time tak payah unpack ... they say 'live out of your suitcase' ... easier ;)

sdsfasda said...

Great post, Lily, splendid photos. Romantic when you see this life from the photos, pages and TV. But It's SOOOOO hard! My god, people live in any conditions.

Lily Riani said...

@ bananaz, do you know there are cats & dogs too on the floating village... cool huh!

@ biqque, nampak dari jauh BESAUUUUUUU

@ it's simply love, am still learning about life, but i still thing nothing beats the amazon life you tested.

@ wenny, thank you! thank you! still learning ropes on pic taking, then prob invest in DSLR... envy you on this :D

@ liudmila, great you like it! i know it's tough to look from our point. but they live relaxly, with no worries of the work. they live life.

TG said...

Wow, I am impressed. This is Asia, not the modernized Taiwan :P Kidding. Seriously, you won't see a snake boy here like the one on your pic. It's really an amazing post, I learned a lot, hehe. India, here I come... Oops, I mean Indochina, hehe :P

fufu said...

yeah i didnt visit this because of the tight schedule ya but will definitely go when i visit cambodia again :) erm pity for the kids there... wish tourism could help them from time to time

Lily Riani said...


hahahha.... caught us off guard as well.


i thk it does help them... tey do look like they enjoy life.

Shingo T said...

Those kids look genuinely much happier having fun in the sun than the kids playing games on their PSP (Playstation portable).

Your pics tell so much stories, Lily. The facial expressions are priceless.

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