Joseph, Noah, Zoe Joy, Elijah, Nathanael

Journey down Tonle Sap (Clearwater Lake)

Boat ride down Tonle SapToday we took the journey down Tonle Sap, which is translated literally to Clearwater Lake.

The lake i saw, Clearwater … didnt see much of it!

Today was a journey where we really saw the poor, the needy and those who really labor in getting a day’s wage. Most of those we saw were fishermen, and its really disheartening to see so much poverty in a country where foreigners can pay USD50 for a bottle of wine at FCC Angkor, whilst the poor suffer terribly and beg just to get a dollar.

We see a lot of children helping to beg, and helping to create a scene to help get money for the family. They will approach tourists, and there many many Europeans, Japanese and even Koreans. Actually come to think of it, even our AirAsia flight was full of tourists. Guess Cambodia attracts a lot of people.

See the unique lives of the average Cambodian fishermen …

The Tonle Sap – Clearwater Lake of Cambodia is HUGE. It actually looks like a sea, cos you don’t see the end of the other side of the lake. Yes, Taman Jaya is just a drop in a bucket compared to Tonle Sap.

Because the rainy season is approaching, the boat that we were on was travelling only in the middle, cos the bottom was less than 2 metres deep …. yeah that’s a bit weird but the expanse of the lake was just enormous. When you see the pics below u’ll know what i mean.

When we were travelling on the boat, there were many smaller boats that came alongside, and tried to sell us a Coke for USD1, or Bananas for USD1, and even a kid with a snake. Others were kids who came alongside, and just gave that pitiful look and asked for money. Usually USD1 was the price they asked for.

Pictures of the Journey down Tonle Sap




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daren says:

Hey Ben

We ate lots of good food cos it was a company trip, international buffet dinner, cultural show dinner, dinner at FCC and stuff like that.

But on our last nite it was free & easy, and we found a relatively cheap and yummy place called Dragon Soup near the French Quarters.

If u head towards the French Quarters, look out for Red Piano, walk down that road, and at the end of the road you will see Dragon Soup on your right.

Example …. Fried Rice was USD3.

benben says:

One more thing, mind sharing about the food there? What you gys had for your meals, maybe some pictures if you have.


daren says:

Dear Ben

Siem Reap is interesting, though not sure if u find the same things in Phnom Penh, though i doubt it.

I guess the country’s poverty is sad, and yeah the children begging is a syndicate. I forgot to mentioned that at one point when we looked back after leaving one spot, we saw all the diff children on the boat rowing to the mother, and all counting how much money they collected from us!! sigh.

But they sure know how to beg, with their voice … “one dollah” and then their eyes and facial expression. They really know how to make u pity them, and they are all young kids.

sadly, true.

daren says:

dear ah kok

i am sure u saw how amazing Cambodia is. I never realize so many tourists coming to this little country.

benben says:

Interesting.I alwasy go to Cambodia, went there three times already but have not gone to Siem Rep just yet. Plan to go end of this year.

We’ll the begging in Cambodia is just bad, all three times i was in Phenom Penh with a Korean church which started this Bus Ministry which reaches out to the STREET KIDS. Rather interesting too, the sad part is even if we gie them 100Rial(10 cent Malaysian), the money doesn’t go to them, it goes to a syndicate. That’s the sad part, so what we did was give them food and medical treatment instead. That the ring leader wouldn’t want to take from them. The other thing is we were advised not to come in contact with any of the kids in the city as most of them are infected with various sicknesses, so wated to give the younger ones a hug but could not do so. Street Kids even pick up unfinished beer cans and drink from them. Many of them fall sick from those kind of activities. They do the same with used needles, when my team was walking the streets in the city, used IV needles were seen all over the sid of the roads. Indeed it is a sad thing, but all I (we) can do is pray and do the best we can.

Not that we don’t want to donate but the donations the kids in he city gets goes to someone else who is enjoying it. The best way is to educate the kids, that’ what the Bus Ministry is doing, TEACH the kids. I guess al we can do is pray and do thebest we can. Cambodia is indeed a country in real need. Siem Rep is just one part of Cambodia, if you have the time, go with the family to the capital, Phenom Penh. Not sure if I got the spellings right.


ah KOK says:

i was there last week…amazing!

tiff says:

Poorthings!! If I was there habis la!!! The children really are in need. sigh….