Life on the water is fascinating in Vietnam, Cambodia and Tahiland. Whether it’s a lake, river or ocean, the fishing people find a way to get the most out of what they have.
There are 127 fishing communities on Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake and about one million people live on or around the lake. Our guide Kheang told us that few of them have ever been to a city. They do, however, have TV on their boats and “the new generation doesn’t want to live there any longer because they have seen the bigger world (on TV),” he said.
This little 10-year-old boy (below) could be the next Cambodian billionaire. He has it wired. He is the assistant to the boatman and helps bring the boat in and out. But when he’s not busy with that, he massages the passengers on the boat. He asks for $1US which is a lot of money in Cambodia, but he’s usually given $3-5. Not bad for a few hours’ work.
Life on the Bangkok khlongs varies greatly, from wealth to poverty:
The Bangkok klongs are teeming with life, as well as with fish.
Jerry just loved our room at the Peninsula Hotel in Bangkok. The floor-to-ceiling panoramic views let him see how busy the waterway is and how many different kinds of boats traverse it each day.
We were amazed at how young some of the boatmen on the khlong were! Guess they don’t need permits or licences.
The rich and the poor live side by side on the Bangkok khlong. It’s a pretty stark dose of reality.
Bangkok at night can be mesmerizing, especially when you can’t see the dreaded smog.
Next up: Jerry’s wonderful watercolors of our trip.
– Paula Rath