A relatively civilised 10 am departure from Siem Reap for a five hour bus ride to Kampong Cham to meet our boat the Tonle Pandaw which will be home for the next week and take us across the border into Vietnam. Lots of Rice Paddies and Rubber Plantations. Rice Paddies are a tad parched as we are well into the dry season. Which means that I will have to come back in the rainy season when all will be lush and green.
So boarded the Tonle Pandaw and started observing life along the Mighty Mekong River
Water levels are currently very low. A combination of the dry season and the Chinese who are refusing to open one of their dams. Bad enough they are ghastly tourists !!! Not doing themselves any favours around here in the PR stakes !!
So we travel by bus to Kraitie and a fairly mind numbing day of school visits and tree planting !! Don’t even ask !!!
Along the way we crossed a dodgy bridge so all had to get off the bus and walk across the bridge so that the bus could cross empty.
Arrive in Kratie and take ferry across to an island for an oxcart ride to the local secondary school to help the kids with their English Class. I was one of several who hung out at the back and waited for it all to end !!
Then into the forest with the local mayor to each plant a tree. This is something called eco-tourism. What will they think of next !!
Then back on the bus for an hours drive to the part of the Mekong inhabited by the last remaining fresh water dolphins since Pol Pot decided to cull them all to provide a source of oil for lubricating something. Yes he was completely bonkers and the dolphin is the black dot in the middle of the river ! Extremely endangered and very elusive !
Then back to the boat for dinner and we set sail downstream towards Phnom Penh.