By 8:30 we had disembarked from the RV Indochina and boarded another set of motorcoaches for a drive north of Kampong Cham to the twin mountains of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srey. They were really just hills, with temples on top. The legend is that in ancient times it was the custom for women to ask men to get married. Women wanted to this to change, and challenged the men to a contest. Whoever could build the highest hill before the morning star rose the next morning, would have their way with who proposed marriage. The men readily agreed, and they set to work. The men were ahead in the contest when they took a break. The women hung a lantern in a tree. The men thought it was the morning star and decided they had won and went to sleep. Of course, the women continued building until the morning star actually rose, and had built the taller hill, Phnom Srey. Since then, men have had to propose to women.
We were dropped off near the top of the flatter hill, Phnom Pros. Some people wanted to ride back down the hill on the bus, and walk up to the temple for exercise. I thought to join them, but didn't want to miss anything the group saw. As it was, when we rounded the corner to the front of the temple, the hill climbers arrived at the same time. They had come up about 50 steps! The 300+ steps of Phnom Srey would have been more of a challenge.
We still had ten more steps to climb to reach the temple:
Inside the sanctuary:
Tamiko at the base of the stairs:
Kent and a devata (female deity):
At birth, Buddha could take seven steps, and under each step a lotus bloomed:
Back to the motorcoaches and now to Cheungkok Village. This village is supported by AMICA to become sustainable by diversifying sources of income.
We specifically visited the orphanage, where children of parents with HIV live.
Our Program Director Thien is popular with the children (he brought a soccer ball on this visit):
Then we went to the sewing room, where there were braided bracelets as well as small silk bags and totes. Our guide pointed to a bracelet that his sister stated that he made. Hmm. I bought it anyway!
Our guide was the only one who chose two adults (Robbie and Tamiko):
Kids pose for pictures:
The bridge handles small vehicle traffic:
Lunches on the RV Indochina would be a choice of two entrees, along with a salad bar:
Dessert was Strawberry Custard Creme and Assorted Market Fresh Fruits and Ice Cream.
There was always three kinds of ice cream: chocolate, strawberry, and rum raisin. Some passengers started pouring rum on their rum raisin ice cream!
Next, Cambodian Villages.