Thursday, March 10, 2016

Seeing more of the World: Part III Kampong Thom,Cambodia

We traveled by bus to this small less touristy town of Kampong Thom. We stayed at a great little hotel, the Sambor Village.

This gave us a nice break from the busy city of Phnom Penh, and a spot to cool down after a hot day in the countryside.

The much less visited ruins of Sambor Prei Kuk are just a tuk tuk ride away from Kampong Thom. 

Our ride awaits.

Sambor Prei Kuk predates the more famous Angkor Wat and was built in the 7th Century. It was built with bricks, rather than stone. Some of the structures are being restored with funds from various countries, but as these photos show, the vines have beautifully wrapped around many of the structures. (We also saw craters throughout the park that had been created by U.S. bombing 1969-1973.)

Our guide followed our tuk tuk for miles to the ruins, hoping to exchange his knowledge for our dollars. He spoke English and had been trained by a German-based archaeology program.

Looking up a tower into the sunlight
Our tuk tuk driver spoke little English, but gave us a wonderful ride through the Cambodian countryside.

We were fascinated by these contraptions (single cylinder engine)  that could haul tons of stuff.

Rice is harvested and raked out in the farmer's yard to dry.

Supervising the raking of the rice
Raking the rice

If your tuk tuk gets a flat tire, one young guy with two hands and two feet can replace the tire in the same time Les Schwab can do it with all the modern tools!

There are other things to see in the area. One is a silk farm where they grow a few silk worms (although most silk comes from China) and train women to weave the silk, a skill they can take with them to make a living in a larger production facility.

The silk worms start out as a green larva

Worms busy making silktreads

Mike ate a boiled silk worm--tastes just like peanuts!

Another industry in Kampong Thom is the carving these giant statues from stone. We wondered where all these would end up.

After this wonderful stay in Kampong Thom, we waited for a bus to take us on to Siem Reap.
Snails, anyone?

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