Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Siem Reap - under water

On Friday morning we headed out to the airport for our 6:30am flight.  The plane took off at 6:15am - the great thing about Lao Airlines is that, if everyone is checked in, they get the show rolling.  We had a stop at Pakse and the connecting flight to Siem Reap in Cambodia also took off early and we got landed nearly an hour earlier than planned.

On the downside Lao Airline food does leave something to be desired. A meal pack at 6:35am including a cold hamburger and cold fries is NOT that appealing. The little cake and 2 wedges of apple were fine

As we descended to Siem Reap airport the views gave us a hint of what was to come.  Everywhere you looked there was water

When we got into town the streets were full of water.  We decided to walk downtown from our hotel.  Siem Reap has a river running through the centre of town. Water was spilling out from the river but wasn't too bad at our location.  Just over our shoes.

When we got downtown the water was mid-calf to knee height.  Shops were open and the old market trading

Outside the Old Market

It didn't stop people making their way about

We had the best meal of the trip at lunch in a cafe in town - Amok the Cambodian curry and national dish...mmmm
So after a hard day trudging through flood water we grabbed a tuk-tuk back to the hotel in the afternoon.  There was a couple of hours downpour. When we went out to the road to get transport back down to town for an evening meal we were told town was closed and water was up to thigh-high in places. 

At least our hotel had a superb restaurant so we weren't completely stranded. A boutique hotel that was a restored colonial building and had once been the foreign correspondent's club

We knew we were by the riverside, we just didn't realise the river was going to be quite so close.

On a serious note 100 people have drowned in the floods so far and large tracts of the rice crop have been lost - meaning hardship ahead in the coming months

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