Ivan, Jennifer and I went to have lunch at the Gecko Cafe on December 19, 2008. The restaurant has some awesome banana shakes. Ivan ordered the stir fried fish with gravy and cashew nuts. Jennifer got the Cambodian Curry with rice. She thought it wasn’t too good. I had a nice stir fried banana and vegetable dish.
We hopped in a tuk tuk. Later on, we were going to an orphanage. The driver took us to two stores. We bought pens, chocolates and stickers for the kids. We arrived at the orphanage. We were greeted by the monk who runs the orphanage. He told us about the story of the orphanage. There are about 60 kids who stay there. It seems we came at a bad time since most of the kids were at school. We saw the school area. The sleeping area of the boys was also the English classroom – it’s the same for the girls room.
We walked to an area where the kids were doing art. There was a volunteer teacher there. She was teaching the kids how to draw. They had never drawn before. One kid was very talented. Ivan bought his picture and the money was a donated to the orphanage. The kids asked Ivan if he wanted to play football (soccer). Ivan and Jennifer played football with the kids.
They were on opposite teams. Jennifer wasn’t too good – she did like shouting and slapping hands with her teammates when her team scored. The kids were a lot of fun to play with. They loved the stickers we gave them. They stuck some on my fur. Some of them liked to put stickers on their forehead. Ivan brought his iPod and played some music. It was a good day hanging out with the kids.
We went to the Gecko Cafe for a massage. The deal they have is a free drink when you buy an hour massage. We all got a nice massage with a tasty banana shake. Another perk is the free wireless internet.
We chilled at the hotel for awhile. We walked to the Smokin’ Pot for dinner. Ivan and Jen shared the spicy mango salad. I had a nice banana and chicken rice entree. Ivan got a good fish amok. Jennifer had an okay spaghetti dish.
We met up with Philay on the morning of December 20, 2008. I was excited to explore more of Battambang. The countryside is the highlight of this city. Our first stop was the market. We were in search of snakes.
There were many things being sold like fish, meats and even dog. It was filled with people walking around. Unfortunately, the snakes were already sold out.
We went back on our motorbikes to our next destination. We arrived at a training camp for circus performers. The kids were formerly street kids.
The kids were practicing their acts like juggling on stilts or acrobatics. Ivan tried juggling a few pins. I tried going on the stilts, but it was difficult balancing.
Our next stop was a crocodile farm. It was located in the backyard of somebody’s house. There were dozens of crocodiles there. It’s cool seeing these big creatures – but they don’t really do much.
It seems their life consists of lounging around, swimming and eating.
We were on the road again driving. We stopped at the side of the road. A family were making rice paper. The mother would make the rice paper on the steamer. Her son or daughter would pick up the paper and transfer it to big bamboo drying area.
They let the rice paper dry for hours. Of course, it’s best when it’s sunny so the rice paper can dry.
We headed to Wat Ek Phnom. It’s mostly in ruins. It’s a place where couples go when they want privacy. The Wat has many nooks for couples to hang out in. There’s also a giant buddha at the Wat.
I wanted to climb it – but Jennifer thought that might be disrespectful. No fun! There was also a nice colorful building in the Cambodian style. The style is very unique.
We were driving again on our motorbikes. It’s nice to feel the wind blowing in your fur. Philay stopped again. There was a lady who had two big vases of snakes. I believe they were caught recently. I can’t believe Philay stuck his hand in the vase and grabbed a few snakes so we could see.
How brave of him! Ivan, Jennifer and I do NOT like snakes. I think it’s best to see them in a glass container. It’s better that way – safer too!
And we were going to another destination. It was a fish fighting place. Several men were seated around a dozen jars of fish. It doesn’t sound very exciting and it’s not really. It’s different from cock fighting. There are no rounds in fish fighting. It goes on until one of the fish runs away and he’s declared the loser. So, it can really go on for hours. Yes, of course you can place bets as well.
The fish all look the same. Ivan asked how can they tell the fish apart. Philay just they just know. All this fighting made me think of a concept for a game. Two monkeys are placed in a ring. Then somebody throws a banana in the middle. The winner is the monkey who captures the banana. I think that would be worth watching!
It was finally lunchtime! We were all hungry by this point. We stopped by the riverside for lunch. The restaurant was a wood hut. It was a bit scary walking around since it seemed like it could collapse at any time. There was no menu. Ivan ordered a fish. Jennifer wanted some chicken. I decided to order a banana noodle dish.
The ingredients were fresh from the farm. We chilled on hammocks while we waited for our lunch to come. The food was good.
Our last stop was the ancient house. It was an old house that was built hundreds of years ago. The house was made out of dark wood. The house wasn’t anything special except that it was really old.