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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Unforgettable Experience at Tonle Sap

Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia and is very important in Cambodia. I was very surprised when I was told that this great lake boat tours are now being operated by a Korean company and everything is charged in USD. It was a once in a lifetime tour to Tonle Sap so we booked ourselves up with Tara Boat for sunset and dinner tour and the damage was USD33 per person. It is ridiculously dear for an underdeveloped country to charge that much for a boat tour but luckily, the service was good and the pick ups was punctual. We got picked up at 3.30pm from the hotel and below is the jetty. It was dry season when I went and water was very murky. I guess the silt in it was thick too, if I had fallen into, I wouldn't be able to get out of it!
I felt more like an illegal immigrant.
It was dry season when I visited Tonle Sap and the water level can easily reach the top of the pole during wet season. At least another 6 meter ?
Out from the canal into the open lake. Floating houses were everywhere mainly occupied by Vietnamese.
A young boy is seen rowing the boat. Plenty of them are around.
Pigs floating on the lake and I seriously had never seen anything like this in my life before this.
Looks more like an ocean than a lake.
Girls as young as 2 years old are being taught to swim and row around the lake in an aluminium coracles holding pythons, asking tourists to take photos with them for USD1.
Cambodia is undoubtedly full of poisonous creature. Cobras and scorpions are soaked in alcohols to create health elixir. Hmmm... Tonle Sap is also famous for its freshwater crocs and catfish farming. Remember, do not fall into the river!
The big Tara Boat for dinner and sunset view. Weather was fine when we got onto the multi storeys big boat.
The sunset.
Nice views don't always last and very soon after, the thunderstorm hit. Started with an extremely strong wind and followed by thunderous rain after. We were all drenched and had to move from the roof to the bottom, 3 storeys down to have our dinner which was nearly blown away by the wind. Someone even joked that it was our 'last supper' and guess what? We had exactly 13 people sitting down at the table!

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