Weaver's South East Asia Trip travel blog

fruits & vegetables in a Cambodian market

fresh chicken

smoked fish





chicken parts and fresh eggs

many types of rice

our food processing table for the Cambodian Cooking class

some of the tools used

the mortar and pestle used to make a paste

garnished made

a tomato lotus flower

banana leaf basket

Paul's fresh spring rolls

Paul's spring rolls and cashew chicken

my pumpkin soup and Amok chicken

Paul enjoying the food he cooked

the port on a river into Toule Sap Lake

The water is really low in this port.


Our very noisy small boat

A boat similar to ours

A very modern fast boat, but very expensive!

The water is very muddy. A fishing village on the edge.

A floating store that uses bamboo underneath as floatations devices. Very expensive.

A boat not being used during the dry season.


The boats come in many different sizes. Some were being built at...

This mangrove will be mostly underwater when the rainy season starts

The floating homes are made to float 3 ways: with a boat...

Or with metal drums like this one

Or with bamboo like this one.

Some homes are made with leftover pieces of metal

A vendor selling fresh food to the floating homes

Some homes are fancy

The floating villagers have other small boats for transportation

Many of the people in these floating villages live on these boats...

The majority of the people fish for a living

Water pollution is a major issue in these villages

Life expectancy for an adult is only 54 years old

This is the Elementary school

One in five of these children are malnourished. This was a water...

This mom has 3 little ones. The eldest one is in a...

Alligators are farmed for their skins. They also have fish farms.

There are 170 of these villages on this lake

80,000 people live in these villages

A new place being constructed.


Villages on stilts

Homes around the lake are on stilts since the river water will...


Paul, Lucy, Natalie and I walked to a restaurant on Pub street for our Cambodian Cooking class. First we were taken to the local market. It was crowded, noisy and lots of different smells. Our teacher bought some ingredients we wold need. We are making an appetizer, main course and sticky mango rice for dessert. It was so hot. At one point, I had to pound some of my chopped ingredients in a wooden mortar to make a paste. The kitchen was very small (only 4 gas burners) and so hot. We also learned to make flowers and birds our of carrots for garnishes. Banana leaved made doilies and baskets. Tomatoes made a rose and lotus flower. Paul cooked fresh spring rolls and cashew chicken. I made pumpkin soup and Amok chicken. We couldn't finish all the food we made since the servings were so big. Paul went back to the hotel where he got stuck in an elevator for 10 min since the power kept going off. I continued on a boat trip to the floating villages on Toule Sap Lake. This lake has the largest inland fishery in South East Asia with an annual commercial catch of up to 400,000 tons. Fishing is the main livelihood for most of the people living around and on the lake. During the dry season, the lake is reduced to an area of 2500 square km and a depth of less than 2m. The water becomes brown and muddy. For 3-4 months during the rainy season, it may swell to over 12,000 square km with a max depth of 10-11 m. The lake fills with water from the Mekong and surrounding watershed and becomes a bluish green colour. The mangrove forests get submerged and only to tallest of trees reach above the water. Submerged branches shed their leaves, which decompose and release nutrients. There are 170 floating villages on this lake with 80,000 inhabitants. Water pollution is a problem within the floating villages. There are 3 types of floating homes: boat bottoms, metal barrels underneath or bamboo sticks. Bamboo is the best, but also the most expensive. These houses either move into the lake or are moored along the rivers. Boats are needed to pull the houses to a spot. The life expectancy is 54 years. 12% of all the children die before the age of 5. One out of two children are malnourished. When I returned to the hotel, they were still experiencing problems with intermittent power loss.

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