Friday, July 11, 2008

Tonle Sap Lake, Siem Reap - Day 1 (Friday, 11-Jul-2008)

We had lunch at Angkor Star, food was NOT GOOD! Stay away if you can! It cost us USD9.50 for two, consists of one fried rice, one club sandwich and a small bottle of mineral water. I was quite disappointed with the quality of the food!

Hmmm...strange, it looks quite delicious on this photo...

We booked a half-day tour with "Villa Siem Reap" to visit and experience Tonle Sap Lake, guided tour ((cost us USD 15 per person (new price : USD 17.50)) on our very first day in Siem Reap. We need to get our butts moving or otherwise, we would end up sleeping and eating in the hotel room. Oh ya, our hotel room no. is 504 ...

We had a nice air-conditioned van from Villa Siem Reap picked us up from the hotel at about 1.05pm, it was a group of seven, including us... (a south american family from Malaysia, a british expat lady, currently teaching in Cambodia and us, two cheapskate Malaysians!)

First stop of the tour was at a temple, can't really recall the name (sorry!) but it does not appear to be a tourist attraction as there were no buses to be seen?!? According to the guide, the ancient temple was built before Angkor Wat, thus older than Angkor Wat .... It is located in a village, we met many local children, gave them sweets and photographed them. They are oh so cute! Not the cunning ones, like the one I'm about to tell you .... the children in Tonle Sap, avoid them! (unless if you have lots of USD to spare!)

Local Children at the Temple

Sights of the temple

We then proceed to Tonle Sap lake ... looking at the living condition on Tonle Sap (no electricity, loads of car battery for power, a small hut for a whole family of 4, drinking, washing out of the lake...) ... I felt lucky and blessed ...

Sights of Tonle Sap Lake

As promised, the cunning children of Tonle Sap lake! As our boat was approaching the "Tonle Sap Lake Center", two children appeared in a bucket, with pythons and started smiling to us, we, being rather amazed, snapped pictures and then, they started saying "one US Dollar" - yikes, okie, the King gave one of them, "one US Dollar" while another member of our group gave the other kid "one US Dollar" ... before you know it, the younger one started demanding another "one US Dollar" and was crying, wailing his lungs out! They pratically "stalked" us throught our visit to the "Tonle Sap Lake Center" .... we were frightened.... of the python! :) So, our advices are, quietly snap pictures, stay close to the guide and give no money!

The Famous "One US Dollar" Children of Tonle Sap! Beware!

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