Cambodia || Siem Reap: Rural Exploration

Our time in Cambodia wasn’t just exploring ancient, mossy temples.
In addition, we were able to see a few different versions of Cambodian living.

During one such experience, we traveled out to the stilt houses on the edge of Tonle Sap, which is also called the Great Lake, which is an absolutely massive fresh water lake that has a surface area of about 1000 miles, which, for a Michigander, isn’t all that impressive compared to our Great Lakes, but in the context of South East Asia, is quite incredible. Many people are sustained through this lake, from the water it provides their rice fields, to the fish they sell in the markets. Not only does the flow of the river which supplies this lake change direction annually, every year, this lake swells in size, flooding a massive parameter and covering up trees and roads and houses. Some people can’t afford to live in the silt houses along the lake, and instead are part of nomadic-like floating communities.

Another day, we had the opportunity to go out to the countryside and sample some local snacks and walk along rice paddies. In addition, we took an ox-cart ride, saw a herd of water buffalo, and boated across a man made river-like trench.  That evening, we ate at a beautiful villa which overlooked a rice paddy.

During our trip, we also were able to visit a morning market, where people come to sell their fish and other food products.  Since most people in Cambodia cannot afford refrigerators, everyone comes to the market every day to buy fresh produce and meat.

I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to visit this dynamic country, even if it was only the taste of one city.

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