The morning started with a brief walk in the early morning to see the large and infamous “flying foxes,” or fruit bats, in Phnom Penh. Jahan then departed for the Tonle Sap River, cruising upstream against the current.
After breakfast in the lounge, guests were treated to a fascinating talk by Professor Jean Michel Filippi on the complex and rapidly changing history of Cambodia since 1954. Always a favorite, Filippi’s talk generated great discussion while the Jahan began to enter the unique Tonle Sap system, where guests spotted pied kingfishers, Chinese pond herons, and eastern great egrets.
After lunch, Jahan arrived at Kampong Chhnang. Guests boarded local boats to a lively small town which hugs the riverbanks then taking minivans for a 20-minute drive to the Aundaung Russey Village to see making of Khmer-style pottery and sugar palm products. Traditional style methods to make pottery and terracotta cooking ovens were admired followed by a lively demonstration on how to extract sugar from sugar palm trees, Cambodia’s national tree.
Returning, local long boats cruised past Cham fish farms, a Vietnamese floating village, and wetlands while enjoying a spectacular sunset aboard the ever-elegant Jahan. Before the dinner and recap, guests were invited to try fried crickets – both a delicacy a KFC equivalent for Cambodians and those guests willing to try! The evening finished with a showing of the Oscar-award-winning film The Killing Fields.