Sunday, December 28, 2008

Crater Lake

On Boxing day we went to "Yeak Laom" lake.

 "Yeak Laom Volcanic Lake is a 700,000 year old volcanic crater lake in a peaceful jungle setting in the Yeak Laom Commune Protected Area. The lake and the area are considered sacred by many of the Khmer Loeu peoples, and are steeped in local myth and legend. There are a couple of docks on the lakeside and swimming and picnicking are encouraged. The lake is 800 meters in diameter and 47 meters deep, and is ringed by a 2.5 km hiking trail. The Yeak Laom Cultural and Environmental Center on the lake trail displays Khmer Loeu handicrafts and fabrics. 4000 riel entrance fee to lake area. 5km from town." (from here)

In the picnic area Soeun bought some dried meat. He often eats dried beef and fish. He told me he was buying some deer meat. The Khmer word for duck is sounds like the English word for deer, and as we were near the lake I thought he meant duck. It wasn't until we got back to PP that I realised it was deer meat. You can see it drying here on the picnic table.
You could hire inner tubes to play with in the water.

See the brown pots to the left, and on the table below? Its some kind of instant alcohol drink made with roots.
There are lots more things for visitors to do such as jungle treks, elephants rides, visit gem mines, learn about different ethnic groups (most people in Cambodia are Khmer, but there are some smaller ethnic groups too and many live in this province.) For example Jungle Adventures
For more on our R'kiri trip see the last few posts- Red Dust, Road to R'kiri and Around Bunlung, also on Kronicle Extra see Christmas trip to the jungle for the full story and here for a few more photos.

Around Banlung, R'kiri

We stayed 3 nights in Banlung which is the provincial capital of the north eastern Rattanakiri. 

Our guest house had a view of  a lake. It was nice, esp at sunrise. The photo below we took out our window. The building in front was where we ate. It was so nice to eat outside and not feel too hot.

It was great to be away from Phnom Penh traffic- its so crazy and busy. Without the traffic and the heat its much easier to go for a walk.
Although it is a little dusty. I saw a truck spraying water, I guess to keep the dust down. People were out the front of their shops spraying water too.

On Dec 25 I saw these kids pumping water from a well to hand wash some clothes. So different to what most Aussie kids do on Christmas day.

Road to Rattankiri

Ten hours of driving across Cambodia we saw lots of different countryside and lots of different trucks/buses etc.

Below is a wedding, sitting in the middle of the road as they do.

We stopped when we saw this truck overturned, but no one was hurt badly.

Snack sellers.
See how dusty it is, even the banana leaves have turned red.

And look at all the dust sitting on the bridge rails. 

Lunch stop.
Nice smooth road, and less trees. In the photo below you might be able to see the overloaded motor bike on the left.

Red Dust

All these leaves are really green, they just look brown/red/orange cos of the dust.
The last 3 hours of our trip to the town in Rattankiri were spent bumping along a very dusty road. In the photo above you can see that it was so dusty there were times we couldn't see the road. In this photo you can see a mini van, well, you can see the load on top of the mini van.
The dust even came into the car- into our mouths and noses. When I blew my nose I thought of north China where your snot turns black because of the all pervasive coal dust. This time was snot was red! When we opened the boot all our bags were covered in dust too. Including the sound system and music equipment.

When Soeun washed the car later so much red water flowed out. I didn't have my camera at the time, but the red kept flowing for ages so I had time to  take a photo.
So much red dirt was in and on the is some of it flowing down the street.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Recently on the other blog

Thanks for reading our main blog, if you are Extra interested have a look at Kronicle Extra where I tend to write more personally and more often. Recently I wrote about my language learning adventures, our church situation, food and more! Plus I added some new links and music.

Indoor BBQ

When Soeun told me his small group was coming over for a meal I got our big table ready. When I have people over I clear our table and move it into the middle of the room. But I forgot everything happens on the floor- they didn't use the table at all.
Here you can see one of the students making a fish sauce. He is mashing preserved fish with garlic, chili, lemongrass, basil and other herbs such as "Saw Herb", named so because it looks like a cutting implement.

A blue basin of squid, a red basket of shellfish and a plate of beef- ready to be cooked. It was a cook a you go meal. We ate these with raw veggies, and used the herb/spice/fish sauce for dipping, along with a lime and pepper sauce.

In previous years Soeun has had a couple of girls in his small group but this year he has none, so not as easy and fun for me to get involved as before.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chilly December evening around the fire

After dinner tonight the students made a fire and cooked some sweet potatoes. Soeun and I joined them, singing Christian songs and silly songs and playing games. It was nice to have a warm fire cos it is quite cool at this time of year.