This is our final post about our trip to Southeast Asia. Over the first ten posts, we covered all the main events. But there is so much more that we experienced that we needed one final post.
We went to a bat cave. Not inside the cave, but on the side of a hill near the cave entrance. Every day in the late afternoon these bats wake up and decide to go out for dinner. Where shall we go tonight? Let’s eat French at Maison Chauve Souris. Hundreds of thousands of bats fly out of the cave and into the dusky skies. As we watched we could see patterns emerge. What do you see?
I’m always fascinated by an interesting face or pair of hands. It is fun trying to capture the essence of a person or their culture through their face and hands. Every once in awhile you get lucky. Over our 18 day trip, we got lucky a few times. One such time, we were walking to a local family-owned brick factory in Battambang, Cambodia, where we bumped into a boy with mud on his face (a big disgrace, thanks Queen) and something in his hand. As we approached we realized he had snakes in his hands (which is nothing like ants in your pants). He had been foraging in a local creek, looking for dinner. He was gracious enough to allow us some photos, for a buck. Then just as we were about to leave, he reached into his pockets and pulled out things as only a boy will do. Forget ants in his pants, he had creek creatures in his pockets.
On one of our last nights of our trip, we walked through a market in Siem Reap. This is a market mostly devoid of tourists, making for more interesting street photography. After 18 days, we no longer considered ourselves tourists, even though we walked around with big cameras with even bigger lenses. Food is usually the highlight of these markets. Not this time. It was a bunch of trampolines with caged children jumping with joy.
Our previous visit to Cambodia was only for a couple of days. We spent those days visiting and photographing as many temples as possible. One place we really wanted to visit was a floating village, but we ran out of time. This visit we made sure we visited Kompong Phluk village, perhaps, the best floating village in Siem Reap. To get there it was a bit of drive followed by a 45 minute boat ride. Most times of the year the village can be accessed via car. But, during the rainy season the road into the village is covered in water, deep enough for boats. There are two things that are must-dos at the village. First, we take a small boat through the floating forest.
Then, we take a boat down the main street, or is it Main Street? As we traveled down the waterway, storm clouds came in, making the scene surreal. The bigger the threat of storm, the more the children came out to play.
We did a lot of driving. We never got behind the wheel, which would be taking our lives in our hands. Instead we were chauffeured around in a mini-van, a tuk-tuk, and a bamboo train by able drivers. There was a lot of time to stare out the window and enjoy our surroundings. And, boy were they strange.
We ate quite well during our trip. Whenever there was a nice restaurant, we dined there. One place even catered to cameras.
We hope you enjoyed our visit as much as we did. And remember, it’s all about the light.