Phnom Penh and Kampong Chhnang

Feb 12, 2020 - The Jahan

An exceptional number of guests were up and awake well before the sunrise this morning – it was time for the early morning sunrise photography walk! After a bracing shot of caffeine, the hardy souls aboard Jahan marched up the gangway onto the riverside promenade and waited for the sun to appear. It did eventually come to appear, shining weakly at first through the mist, but then quickly establishing itself as a source of beautiful morning light with which we used to produce many great photos. Before returning to the ship, we stopped by to pay our respects to a large colony of Lyell’s flying foxes, bellies no doubt full of fruit from the overnight feeding excursions they had just returned from.

It was then back on the ship and towards the Tonle Sap for us, and an opportunity to catch glimpses of several bird species including three species of kingfisher, at least three heron species, numerous flitting swifts (that proved challenging to photograph, to say the least), some …

Despite the water levels being the lowest on record for this section of the river, our captain skilfully navigated us successfully to our destination, which was Kampong Chhnang. We made our way to the shore and boarded a series of nicely air-conditioned buses and weaved our way past a particularly energetic-looking football match to a village on the outskirts of town that specialises in making clay pottery. A demonstration of this was provided, and we were quickly astounded by the speed with which some dry clay was converted into a quite beautiful pot before our eyes. We also watched a local character demonstrate his knowledge of palm fruits, and then his ability at 68 years of age to scale a worryingly tall palm tree with great speed. Having done this for most of his life, his skill and passion was quite evident.

We returned to the ship via a brief tour of floating Vietnamese villages, and settled down for a particularly tasty treat: fresh fried crickets in lemongrass! The verdict (by those guests adventurous enough to try them) was “surprisingly tasty.”

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About the Author

Adam Britton

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Adam is a British-born zoologist who has lived and worked in northern Australia since 1997. Before arriving in Darwin, Adam gained a Ph.D. on the flight performance and echolocation of insectivorous bats, but his passion has always been large predators and the relationship that different cultures have toward them.

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