Duden Waterfall, Antalya, Turkiye.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Antalya, Turkiye.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Paris, France on May 1st.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Visit to Cambodia's stilt houses

Well that was an interesting day. 

The tuk-tuk driver we had met the evening before at dinner picked us up right on schedule at 10:30am Friday morning. The plan was to drive us out to the local village of Kampong Phluk on Tonle Sap Lake.

Tonle Sap Lake is part of the Mekong River system, and is the largest freshwater lake in SE Asia.

The interesting thing about the Mekong River, and Tonle Sap lake is the amount that the water level varies between dry season and rainy season.

From November to March, the water level is low enough that people live and farm there. But from May to October, the water level rises as much as 10 meters (33 feet) and while people still live in the same houses, they use boats to get around. And due to the fluctuations of the water level, the houses are built on stilts.

It didn't take long before we saw homes built on stilts.

But the closer we got to the lake, the higher the stilts became.

We had to ask our driver what they were selling in these bottles.
Gasoline!

All of the children waved at us.

Rice fields.

During rainy season, this is all covered in water.

Huge fields of rice.

Our driver said this guy is fishing!

Soon, we saw hundreds of boats of all sizes.

And more homes, on higher stilts.

During rainy season, people only use boats to get to their house.


The local elementary school.

The river, during dry season.

The high school.
You can easily see the water level marks on the support pillars.

Into town.



Of course there is a temple in the town, built on a man made hill.

The temple had some different paintings inside.

Paintings on the ceiling.

Monks having their lunch.


Fishing boats.

Another school.

This road is under water for about five months of the year.

And this is waterfront property.

Fresh fish for sale.
Our driver bought some so he could make mango fish salad at home.


When we came back through, there was something going on at the school.

Fresh dragon fruit. 

Back in town, our driver took us to a restaurant to have a late lunch, then he picked us up again so he could show us his idea... it was actually kind of funny because he had been hinting at this business opportunity... he says he has lots of ideas, but no money! He was a nice guy though, and he talked a lot about the locals and the way of life. And he toured us around for another hour. We enjoyed the trip, so we entertained him by listening to his ideas. He wanted us to go in with him on a piece of property... only $30,000 USD, and then we could have a home built on the land for another $20,000 to $30,000 USD, and he would maintain the property and use it to bring tourists for sunset tours... and we would have somewhere to live when we come to Cambodia.

Umm. No thanks.

We are enjoying Cambodia, but not enough to want to live here!

Back in the city, we had an hour to relax and have a shower before meeting up with fellow travelers...

Blair, Susan, Kevin, Myriam, Burt.

But.. we have an early start this Friday morning. Another tuk-tuk is picking us up shortly after 7:00am and we are heading about 9 hours east near the Vietnam border. Long travel day on Friday!

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2 comments:

  1. How fascinating about the stilt houses and how much the water level changes throughout the seasons! They have managed to adapt to a very unusual situation in a unique way. I love that! I wonder how many different tourists your driver has pitched his idea to? I am sure you aren't the first and won't be the last! That would make me a little uncomfortable, but I'm sure you handled his proposal well.

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    Replies
    1. it was definitely a pretty interesting village and the way that they live. Obviously because of the water they are mostly fisherman families but we are sure they must love the dry season when they can set foot on ground and grow some food as well. We could handle living in those houses during dry season but I don't think either one of us would enjoy it during the rainy season when you have no land around you!

      You are right, I am sure that we were not his first sales pitch. It was interesting listening to him and hearing how you could buy the land and build and how much it would cost and the associated costs involved and for someone who wanted to settle down in a hot and pretty inexpensive country it might work but it was easy for us to say that we weren't interested because we just aren't ready to settle down and probably wouldn't be for some time yet.

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