Thursday, June 28, 2007

Kompong Phhluk

Yesterday we went to the Kompong Phluk village which is a floating village near Siem Reap but it only floats some of the time when the Mekong River overflows. You can still go visit the village during this time of year and the people are very friendly and you get to see a bit of the country side. It was a long process of getting there and getting back, but it was sooo much fun!


First we took tuk-tuks until the road got too muddy. The road gets muddy because as the water begins to rise, it buries the road underwater by 5 meters. Therefore, the road is not passable by tuk-tuks. The way there was still very bumpy as soon as we got outside of Siem Reap, but surprisingly I fell asleep, lol. I guess I was pretty tired.


We got to a house, and took a truck to the boat dock. The road was very rough and we were only sitting in the bed of the truck. It’s not that it wasn’t safe though because there wasn’t really any other traffic on the road at all. This was a very interesting experience because there was a snake on the truck bed under the mats we were sitting on, and some of the people began freaking out. I picked the snake up by the tail and threw it outside. The truck driver was laughing at us a lot.


We took a small boat to the village through trees and fishing traps. The place where you start taking the boat depends on how high the water is. When the water is high, you don’t even have to take the truck. The boat was pretty comfortable, but because the banks were narrow some people were getting very nervous.


We got to the village and you could tell that people were not expecting tourists at all. The get a decent amount during the flooded season, but they hardly get any during this season. I think a lot of the kids were very open and friendly which was cool.

We walked to the pagoda in the village and there were a bunch of children there. Jo and Bryan went there before the program started and they knew that the kids have English classes everyday at 1pm with one of the monks. We talked with the kids and they were asking us questions in English like “How old are you?” and “What is your mother and father’s names?” It was very cool. It was a good chance for them to practice their English.

We met the monk and he’s pretty young. He told us the reason that he became a monk is that he was unable to go to university, but he wanted to learn as much as possible. He studied English on his own and he teaches it to the kids now. He was also asking us a lot about the pronunciation of various English words to help him improve. I thought that was very cool.

The kids started class. At 1pm they all just sat down and began reciting together from their books without anyone making them to. They all come on their own to learn and I think that if they mess around, the monk will tell them to leave. They were reciting colors and the the colors they said were so funny. “Crimson, charcoal grey, sky blue, rust…” They also began reciting conversational phrases and things like that from their notebooks.


We left the village and went out to see the lake. I was so excited because I got to sit on the front part of the boat. There were wooden houses out their, but Bryan said that within this week a lot have already been taken down because the water levels are rising. I got some awesome pictures.


Back on to the truck. We got on the trucks, but this time I got to sit near the front, and the ride was a lot less bumpy there. We noticed that some rain clouds were coming and they looked pretty bad.


We get back into the tuk-tuks. As soon as we did the storm began. WOW No wonder they call this the rainy season. Luckily our tuk-tuk had rain covers so we didn’t get too wet, but some of the others didn’t.

1 comment:

Kate said...

I am so happy for you that you get to be there doing all that! (and, yes, I'm just a teensy bit jealous! ;) )