28.07.2012 32 °C
And there I was wondering what the place had to offer. We'd decided to make a stopover there on our way back to Phnom Penh. It was only three or so hours on the bus from Battambang and we arrived there in the early afternoon. We were greeted by a lone tuk-tuk driver touting for business and he hadn't even brought his tuk-tuk with him. This was a pleasant change from the usual hordes of tuk-tuk drivers that harass you as you step off the bus. Even though he was the only chap we still walked the 600m to the guesthouse we were checking out. We'd only gone 50m and he was back with his tuk-tuk shadowing us all the rest of the way. After checking in and unpacking I looked out the window and he was still outside waiting. You have to hand it to these guys, they sure work for their fares. I went outside to him and hired him for the afternoon.
First stop - lunch. Our driver brought us to a local noodle bar and the kids baulked at what was on offer. We asked our driver if there were any other options and mentioned a place we'd read about. It closed last year. In the end we settled for some street food - Chinese pork and egg dumplings, fried bananas and charcoal cooked corn on the cob. I knew then that we'd be returning to the noodle shop.
Second stop - the Vietnamese floating village. One of the reasons we'd decided to stop in Kompong Chhnang - in fact the only reason - was to visit the floating village. In truth there are a load of them, all sitting on the river around the town. Caroline haggled with a woman and eventually agreed on $13 for two boats. We were out on the water for about half an hour when the rain began. Our boatlady made for her houseboat where we took shelter for about 45 minutes. It was about the size of my sitting room but she lives there with her husband, daughter and seven other family members - all of whom were at home when we called. Their english was as good as my vietnamese so the conversation was stilted. They laughed at us and we laughed at them laughing at us. What a great way to spend an afternoon.
Afterwards we went to see some locals make pottery which was much more interesting than I've just made it sound. And as fate decreed earlier we dined in the noodle shop. During dinner the rains came and flooded the road outside. Some nice chaps with a 4x4 kindly gave us a lift home. All in all KC was much more eventful than expected.