05:00 alarm for 05:30 departure from hotel in Siem Reap to spend the day birding in the Ang Trapaeng area northwest of Siem Reap near the Thailand border. Nearest town is Sisophon; about the same population as Siem Reap, 190,000. Cambodia has a population of 16 million, and the largest city (& capital) Phnom Penh has about one 10th or 1.5M. The next four most populous each have around 200,000, and the next two around 100,000. So, there are only about 2.5M of the nations population in cities larger than 100,000; 13.5M (84%) live in cities, towns and villages of less than 50,000 people. Extremely rural nation.
Driving through the countryside that becomes very evident. Most roads are not paved and as this is the dry season everywhere the land is parched and there is dust in the air, not to mention the smoke from burning fields, which is still a widespread practice. The most prevalent vehicles are motorscooters (some pulling trailers) all laden with multiple people or stacks of various & sundry items, and these two wheeled tractor-type vehicles pulling trailers again laden with whatever you can imagine.
Had breakfast by the roadside, and lunch also, while birding near water or in the countryside.
Returned to Siem Reap, washed off the day, had dinner, and went to a Cambodian Circus performance. Quite the spectacle. A mixture of rock music, theater and acrobatics. The troupe was started as a means of emotional healing after the Pol Pot regime had destroyed the Cambodian society and eliminated approximately 25% of the nation's population of 8 million.
Time for bed and another early morning start.
Ciao for now