By Thora Pabst
FEB 20 — Our group, perhaps a little worse for the wear, left bright and early for Tonle Sap Lake, the largest fresh water lake in Asia. This area supplies the majority of fish brought to the market. Life on the water can be challenging in so many ways. Homes are generally on stilts to receive the benefit of breezes and protection from rising waters during the rainy season. Modern amenities are virtually non-existent. Though their situations seems cobbled together, the residents appeared undeterred in their pursuit of daily life.
We were then treated to a remarkable luncheon hosted by a local family with the help of a community restaurant. A fresh coconut equipped with a straw was the perfect refreshment! The wonderful food, the graciousness of our hosts, and the great dialogue made for a perfect meal! Even the rice had been harvested by the family from their farm!
We then traveled to a Buddhist monastery where we received blessings from the monks, a very spiritual experience.
Our last venture was to Banteay Srei, the women’s temple. Built in 966, the Hindu monument was largely carved with exquisite Sanskrit by women.
We ended our day with a dinner at a nice restraurant near the night market. Afterwards, some of us had a feet tended by bacteria eating fish!
So many unique experiences packed into a very short day.