Friday, May 30, 2003

30 May 2003, Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

The Killing Fields..... very very sad.

Such happenings.... A mad 35 hours involving 2 five hour boat voyages and a dose of Bali Belly....

The town of Kratie is the launch pad for seeing the rare and endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin. It involves a five hour boat voyage down the Mekong to get to Kratie and then a half hour scooter ride followed by a trip out on a local boat.

Five hours in a cabin with a tape of a Thai Musical (done Karaoke style) blaring out all speakers loud enough to drown the engine noise! Add diesel fumes, a screaming 5 year old and a couple of local haggling over the price of deep fried dried fish. As cultural experiences go it was certainly something! We eventually retired to the roof of the boat. Peace and quiet, just the beating sun to contend with.

There were however amazing views all the way up the Mekong. Tiny floating fishing villages, cows being washed in the river, tiny shanty towns built of sticks and reed next door to expensive temple complexes. Village women washing their clothes in the river and tiny naked children on the banks of the river waving as we swept by.

In Kratie we retreated to air conditioning for a quick cold shower, bite to eat and a rest before seeing the dolphins. Sadly, during the rest the contents of my stomach decided to rebel. I looked after the inside of the bathroom while Random set forth in search of dolphins.

We decided that one night in Kratie was sufficient and, being recovered from previous bilious bouts, we jumped back on the boat for the second part of the Thai Musical Karaoke special!

We are back in Phnom now and planning a quiet few days around town before heading onto Siam Reap. We were going to catch the boat to Siam Reap... however we are scared we might catch part 3 in the Thai Musical.... so we are booking local plane tickets instead!


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