Day 10 Thursday 25 December 2014

Happy Christmas and for us a day of transition.  We leave Siem Reap by cruise boat to head south along the Tonle Sap lake and river with seven days of cruising ahead of us.

Although pre-warned the low level of water prevents the river cruiser – Mekong Prestige II – being able to negotiate the Tonle Sap lake and so we are  loaded into a motorboat which is not particularly comfortable (not enough knee room for tall western sized people) and told that we have a three hour or so journey to the river cruiser.

There are no pictures of our activities today – it was not quite what we wanted!  It took more like four and half hours to reach the cruiser and not far short of our destination those travelling on the small deck were forced indoors as we saw the first rain of the holiday.The lake is huge and for most of the journey land was only visible on either post or starboard at the horizon.  And the other horizon is water as far as the eye can see.

The commencement of our trip is enlivened by the party sitting in front of us (an apparently excitable Brazilian) and the ladies behind us have an entertaining discussion as both appear to have been allocated the same cabin.  After a while we decide nothing can be done until we get there.  I certainly get the impression that the Brazilian thinks she might be travelling on the Queen Mary rather than a river cruiser!

Eventually we have land on both sides again and we transfer from the motor boat to the cruiser.  She is a well appointed vessel as we had expected (she is less than a year old).  Whilst we might struggle to get across the crew have to get our huge suitcases on board as well – and nothing goes in the drink which is good news.  However due to the cabin mix up one of our cases goes astray so unpacking is a little slower than we might have liked.

Before long we are sat at dinner and the tensions relax.  There is a wide offering and four courses – and even cheese for the end of the meal for me.  We are going to eat well for the next week.   And I rather think we shall sleep well.