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Siem Reap and Cruising the Mekong

Siem Reap to Krong Kampong Cham

sunny 95 °F

The main order of business today was traveling the 300km from Siem Reap to Krong Kampong Cham to board the AMADara on the Mekong River. The trip took about 5 hours, and we made two potty stops along the way. AMA provided a snack box to tide us over until we had a light lunch upon boarding at about 2:00pm. We traveled through many small villages and dried rice paddies which will come to life when the rains start in the spring. large_DSC_1892.jpglarge_DSC_1886.jpglarge_DSC_1883.jpglarge_DSC_1897.jpglarge_DSC_1899.jpglarge_DSC_1901.jpglarge_DSC_1907.jpglarge_DSC_1903.jpglarge_DSC_1912.jpg

After lunch we had a short break and then headed off for our first Mekong excursion, a visit to Twin Mountains. Phnom Srei and Phnom Pros translate into Man Hill and Women Hill respectively. Long time ago, there was a Queen called “Srey Ayuthia”, who had reign Khmer Kingdom. There was no one asking her to get marriage, because she was as the King. But many years later, she decided to ask for a man in order to marry her. Then all the women in the Kingdom stated to follow their Queen. They started to ask man to marry them, which was contrast to traditional norm that men were the one who ask women to marry. However, it was unfortunate for the ugly women as they were rejected by all men. (This is from a Cambodian web site - hence the somewhat different English!)

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Posted by rpickett 02:53 Archived in Cambodia Tagged to reap siem cham kampong krong Comments (0)

Siem Reap and cruising the Mekong

Siem Reap

sunny 92 °F

After a much needed good night's sleep, I spent the morning catching up on email and wandering around the great Hôtel Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort taking some pictures of its wonderful surroundings.

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Then after lunch and a quick meritorious nap, I headed out on an excursion that I had booked before I left. I was a quick tour of the countryside followed by a cruise on lake Tonle Sap to see its floating villages, and then a buffet dinner on a larger boat from which we watched the sun set. We made stops at a lotus farm along the way, and a crocodile farm in the lake.

As one of the world's most varied and productive ecosystems the region has always been of central importance for Cambodia's food supply. It proved capable of largely maintaining the Angkorean civilization, the largest pre-industrial settlement complex in world history.Directly and indirectly it affects the livelihood of large numbers of a predominantly rural population. Due to ineffective administration and widespread indifference towards environmental issues, the lake and its surrounding ecosystem are coming under increasing pressure from over-exploitation and habitat degradation, fragmentation, and loss. The level of the lake can vary up to 10 meters, which changes the size of the lake considerably. This time of year is the dry season and there can be as little as under 1 meter depth in much of the lake. The lake feeds the Mekong river.

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Posted by rpickett 20:48 Archived in Cambodia Tagged reap siem Comments (0)

Siem Reap and Cruising the Mekong

Flying to Cambodia

sunny 90 °F

I left the house at 0830 Tuesday morning for my flight to Dulles and the literally half way around the world journey to Siem Reap Cambodia for the start of our visit to Angkor Wat and 7 night voyage down the Mekong to Ho Chi Min City.

After an hour and 7 minute flight from Charleston, I arrived at Dulles International Airport where I would fly with Qatar Airways and Bangkok Air to Siem Reap. At Dulles, business class folks can use the Turkish Airlines Lounge while waiting for the flight.
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The next leg was an 11 hour 45 minute flight to Doha, Qatar. The Qatar business class experience is by far the best business class suite that I have ever traveled on with attentive service and excellent food. By many rating systems, Qatar is the best in the world and the flight attendants are very proud of that fact and go out of there way to keep that reputation. We flew on a pretty new Boeing triple 7. The flight attendant for my section was from the Philippines. The Qatar airport is modern and spacious, and the Business Lounge is something to behold - perhaps holding more than 1500 people.

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The next leg was a 5 hour and 40 minute flight to Bangkok on an A350. Not as luxurious as the Triple 7 but again superb service. We arrived in Bangkok at 0330 in the morning and enjoy the Thai sunrise as we waited for the 0800 flight.

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The last leg was short 35 minute flight to Siem Reap, arriving at about 0930 in the morning Thursday. My transfer arranged with AMA Waterways was waiting and I was in my room at the Hôtel Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort by about 1100...38 hours after I left my house. I had some lunch, dozed for a while, took a dip in the pool and had a wonderful dinner at the hotel's french restaurant, Mouhot's Dream.

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Posted by rpickett 18:39 Archived in Cambodia Tagged to reap siem charleston Comments (0)

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