S: Viking River Cruise - Vietnam and Cambodia March 21 to April 4, 2011
BC: Life along the Mekong River.
FC: Magnificent Mekong River Cruise Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia 03-26-2011 to 04-01-2011
1: Arriving in Kampong Cham, Cambodia 03-26-2011. Leslie being helped by children at Wat Hanchey 03-27-2011. Cat sitting on step. | Map of the river cruise. Main temple at Wat Hanchey. Gold Buddha inside temple.
2: Paintings inside the Wat Hanchey temple. A Wooden Buddhist temple. The temple dates back to the 8th Century and is surrounded by smaller religious monuments.
3: All fruits grown in province except apples. Kids painting. Around Wat Hanchey.
4: View of pavillions by Mekong River. Monkey eating fruit. Dog painted by kids. Buddhas.
6: Chris and kids leaving Wat Hanchey. Gravesite. Ben returning to ship along with a friend. Wat Hanchey from Mekong River. Man Mountain, Phnom Pros, one of the twin holy mountains. Our guide, Naraut.
7: Temples at Phnom Pros. Legend states that men and women of nearby village had a competition to decide which gender would be responsible for proposing marriage. The women tricked the men into thinking they won by building the tallest mountain. However, the women continued through the night and won - men had to then propose and pay dowries.
8: Older monkey resting near the temple. Naga. Leaving Phnom Pros for grounds that are donated by people from all over the world.
9: Brahma has four faces. Reclining Buddha in Nirvana. A dedicated memorial - Skulls from The Killing Fields.
10: Visiting the Kampong Cham Province Orphanage. Orphans come from remote areas of the province. Parents are divorced, have HIV, or are very poor.
11: Longest bamboo bridge.This connect the islands to the province.
12: 03-28-2011 Cruising on the Tonle Sap River going to Kampong Chhnang. Scenes along the river.
13: On smaller boats to explore the river banks around Kampong Chhnang.
14: Small boat tour of the market place and areas where people live in Kampong Chhnang. Market place has food, herbal medicines, BBQ, and fermented lime juice. Too much fermented lime juice can ruin kidneys.
15: Narut explains the foods in the market. Bitter seed with green leaf and lime mixture is like cigarettes for ladies. This stains the teeth red.
17: Boats on the river are living quarters and markets. Boats use generators for power and many have TV antennae.
18: Wait staff singing Happy Birthday to one of our passengers. Night scene heading to Phnom Penh. | Boat and house surrounded by water hyacinth. Leslie and Ben on cyclos in Phnom Penh. 03-29-2011
19: The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. The President of Timor is in town, so we cannot go inside the main palace. Main hall built in 1917, designed by Cambodian architect. Top resembles snake skin with tail sticking out.
21: King Norodom's stupa and statue. Offerings to Buddha and flowers. 03-29-2011
22: Map of the Royal Palace grounds. King Norodom's picture. National Museum, terra-cotta red building with an ornate tiled roof topped with Nagas (mystical snake).
23: In the middle of the National Museum. | Lotus blossom. | Ganesha, Elephant God, a Hindu deity. | Museum has collection of pre-Ankorian and Ankorian artifacts. | Cyclo rides for Shabari and Viyyoor. | View of Phonem Penh on cyclo ride.
24: President of Timor, Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta. | View from cyclo tour. | Children waiting on the street to see President. | View of city on the way to Choeung Ek, Killing Field Memorial.
25: Skulls and bones of people killed inside the memorial. | Holes where victims were buried. | Magic tree - used to hang loud speaker to muffle sound of victims being executed. | Children were beaten by executioner. | More than 2,000 people died during Khmer Rouge Reign.
26: Russian Market, now sells Cambodian goods. Food stalls.
27: Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. 1975-1979
29: Young dancers entertained us with traditional Cambodian dances. 03-30-2011 Heading to the border crossing of Cambodia and Vietnam. Sight on the Mekong River.
30: Galley tour, kitchen space is limited. Water purification system. Laundry service.
31: Tour of Wheelhouse. Captain Ha and Ben. | View from the wheelhouse. | Border crossing. Cambodian immigration station. | Vietnamese immigration station. | Chef Bonthan demonstrates fruit carving. | Carving of a papaya. | The ship's bell.
32: Demonstration of making a spring roll. | Finished product. | Chau Doc, Vietnam. 03-31-2011 | Boat trip along floating Cham tribal village. 200 families live here. | House boat. | Tony, our Program Director.
33: Cham tribal village. Champa people are different than Vietnamese. They are darker and men wear skirts. Scenes from the Cham village and drying rice.
34: Mosque, mango tree, selling crop, and transporting item. | Fish farm beneath floor of store front and home on river. Views of fishes, nets, and living area.
35: Leaving Cham village and walking through market area to take a cyclo ride through Chau Doc.
36: On the Mekong River we saw many boats selling goods. | Cu Lao Gien Island. People using the ferry. Franciscan Church and Monastery, built 1875-1876.
37: Rice crop being dried on the ground. Children and students wanting to practice their English with us. Duck farm in the back area. Sunset on the Mekong River. Jack fruit on tree.
38: Inside our cabin - beds and bathroom areas. Sa Dec, 04-01-2011. Sunrise. | Sampan ride to Sa Dec. Walking through market place. They eat rats.
39: Market sells fishes, vegetables, meats and 'funeral money'. | Home of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, lover in Marguerite Duras' autobiography l'Amant, the Lover. | Marguerite Duras died in 1996 - 84 years old.
40: Brick factory - Need to cut clay into small pieces and dry in sun for 5-7 days. When dry, the bricks are put into kiln. It takes 40-45 days to become a brick. It takes 75-80 days for square tile. Need 1 ton of rice husk to burn bricks. 1 ton of rice husk cost $1.50.
41: African tulip tree. | Water hyacinth protect the river banks. Roots and silt can be mixed for fertilizer. | Snack of fruits on the sampan. | Transporting rice husk. | Men fishing. | Eyes on front of a boat look like an animal's - eyes to see the way home. | Our sampan.
42: Going to Cai Be for afternoon tours on 04-01-2011. Bridge on river. Many houseboats have TV antennae. View of church. Visited local family processor - rock salt, coconut candy, rice paper and rice puff.
43: Candy squares wrapped individually by hand in edible rice paper. Rice paper for spring rolls. Making of rice puffs by using rice and fine coal heated in a wok. The fine coal is sifted out.
44: Rice puff packaged for sale. Snake in jar of whiskey. Bruce enjoying a taste. First floating market started in 1870. Now 15 floating markets in the Mekong Delta. Each boat shows what it sells on exterior pole.
45: Farewell Vietnamese Theme Dinner - chicken with cashew nuts, baby corn with black mushroom, grilled shrimp with garlic, and dessert - mango and sponge cake with chocolate.
46: Farewell party with the crew and guests. Cambodian dance, Vietnamese singers, the laundry man juggling, Eric singing Filipino song to a guest, Tony and Lesley dancing, and the entire crew with the Captain in the middle.