Hi everyone, Ive just got back from Kratie up towards the north of Cambodia. We left by bus on the Friday afternoon to a town called Kampong Cham where we stayed over night, there wasnt very much there, we visited a temple/ruins just outside the town before getting the bus to Kratie the next morning. They were very beautiful but not a lot to do! We were planning on getting a boat to Kratie but we got told that they dont run any more, so it was back on the bus for another 3-4 hour sweaty journey! But totally worth it when we got there. We met a driver that I was recommended by one of our tuk tuk driver friends in Phnom Pehn, who is the only women moto driver in Cambodia, not quite sure how she knows this?! She was really sweet, shes called Miss Dary. We quickly ate some lunch and she took us out to the countryside, to her uncles farm, collecting sugar palm juice. One of the guys there showed us how they climb the trees and collect it and then we got to try some, very very sweet, but totally delicious! We got back to the riverfront just in time for the sunset and we went down onto the docks to watch it go down, each sunset is still just as spectacular as the last, stunning!!! In the evening we went to a lovely restaurant called Red Sun Falling where I had a very english meal of chips beans and bacon, yummy!The Cambodians make me laugh when you order things because nine times out of ten you get something completely different to what you ordered because they havent got all the ingredients, imagine doing that in England you would never get any customers!!But no one cares out here.
Next morning we had breakfast at 6.30 so ready for 7 o'clock. Dary had got us each a moto driver to take us back out into the country side where we got to see all the different farming going on, and all the women picking rice in the fields, it was really interesting, seeing all the techniques they use, where as we would have it all picked within an hour due to all the machinery we have, they take pretty much the whole day for not even a quarter of the field, they must get so hot! We also got to go through the small villages and see all the children and Cambodian families general way of life, they are all so happy! We went right to the river edge and watched two young girls roll their trousers up and just walk over to the otherside through quite deep water which was also flowing quite fast and they were carrying lots of produce with them to take to their family. The next stop was to see the dolphins! Charlotte drove a moto the whole way there and loved it, she was really good and her driver found it great fun, although there was a small incident where she almost ran over a dog, but they're both still here, so its all good!I was quite terrified, there were so many potholes and I havent driven anything since I passed my test so decided to give it a miss! We got the boat out to the dolphins and sat in silence for ages just waiting. They gradually got braver and started coming out of the water more and more, although not that close to the boat and it was impossible to get a good photo because they are so fast! But I got a few fins, I know what they are!!They are really ugly looking dolphins with funny round noses,but beautiful at the same time, they are called irrawady dolphins and there are only about 150 left, they live in the Mekong river which runs through Cambodia, Vietnam and Lao. 75 of these are in Cambodia, they were killed a lot during the Pol Pot regime and locals used to hunt them for a while afterwards by throwing grenades into the water. After the dolphins we went swimming a bit further up but the dolphins stayed away. The water was really warm and such good fun. We found out afterwards that there were crocodiles in the same water!Ahh! We met a really interesting guy on the boat called Sky who was from Deli but went to school in England and now lives and works in Hong Kong. He has been travelling for 9 months around the world and had some amazing stories to tell. The next stop after the dolphins was to see the locals temples (Pagodas). One of them is known to be the biggest in Cambodia. Our final stop for the day was to a local mountain with temples and a monestry on the top, very beautiful! We were all totally shattered after the day so were in bed by 9.30, lame I know! The bus back to Phnom Penh came to get us at 7.15 this morning and took us about 6-7 hours to get home, Im so used to long journeys now that I dont think i will complain about them when I get home, 4 hours to London, whats that ???!!!
Me and Charlotte are going with my work to Takeo province on Thursday to have a look at the weaving and maybe get to have a go? Then just a weekend in Phnom Pehn to buy some things to bring home, like lots of fabric and pressies!
Bye Bye for now, Lots of love and hugs, Laura xxx