Wet start on bus with talk about spiders – our next stop. Spiders make useful medicine for malaria and for pregnant women. Crickets, water beetle, silk worm, spider. Skun town is where they sell the insects for eating near the Mekong River. We stopped at the ‘spider town’ where the locals sell deep fried insects. Here is a photo of our guide eating her tarantula. I ate one too! It was crunchy but not a lot of flavour.
We drove along the motorway then on to smaller roads where we stopped at the roadside to buy some lotus fruit, tastes like unripe nuts. The lotus flower is offered to the Buddha.
As we continued along the highway, the rain was torrential so probably still on the cusp of the rainy season. Glad we brought our plastic ponchos – although ever tried going to the loo in a wet plastic poncho where the toilet is a hole in the ground and there is no loo paper!
The land either side of the road flooded with muddy brown water. I noticed a type of palm not seen outside Cambodia which was tall with a Pom Pom shape at the top.
We stopped for fuel. Fuel very cheap imported from Thailand 75c per litre.
Early lunch stop at a silk farm. Interesting watching the process from the Silk worm eating the mulberry leaves and creating the cocoon from which the silk is spun. The silk worm grubs are edible and I ate one. It tastes like peanut.
We enjoyed a delicious homemade lunch, a variety of home produce fresh from the garden. Our money helps to support the workers on the farm.
We passed a funeral procession. Then stopped to see hammering of the fresh rice. Mixed with banana and coconut is sweet to eat to celebrate the moon. It is the season for rice and the fresh rice mixtures are used to celebrate the water festival 13-18 November when they have floating candles down the river. Six people in one family working together in the business at the side of the road. They also have cows and chickens behind.
Old sandstone bridge 12th century, one of only 11 left
Frangipan flowers growing nearby. Roz picked some and we put them in our hair.
Tonle Sap Lake freshwater from the Mekong River, brings thousands of fish. 3m live around the lake and build their houses on the lake on stilts and grow rice. Snakehead fish over exported.
Intrepid funds help road improvement so tourism helps the local people
Great boat trip on the lake through the village of stilted houses. There was even a primary school and a hospital. We were very lucky that the weather had dried up for this trip and pond fascinating to see how people live their whole lives on water. It reminded me very much of Inle Lake in Myanmar.
Arrived at our hotel about 6pm. Out again to a local cultural show and dinner at the Kulen Restaurant. Put my posh dress on and taken by tuk tuk.