Our road trip from Phnom
Pehn to Siem Reap was a six-hour ride on a private bus. As on many of our
previous trips, our CEO Beam allowed Bill to sit up front beside the driver
where he was able to take some great camera shots.
There was road construction for
many miles out of the city and recent rains had flooded the ditches and
the flat land under the stilted huts. Naked children were frolicking
in pools of floodwater on the side of the road and numerous vehicles were
stuck in mud by the roadside. The Cambodian countryside with its lush tropical
vegetation, agriculture fields, and processing units, fish ponds, roadside
activity and small villages offered many fascinating sights and both of
us took far too many photos -- digital cameras are a bit of a mixed blessing.
Every curve and every km offered
something that we wanted to capture for future memories: Khmer buildings,
temples, French Colonial structures, government and health facilities,
rustic tin-roofed shacks on stilts, well-to-do tile-roofed concrete houses,
abandoned and derelict buildings, vendor stalls, store fronts, facilities
inhabited and run by monks, factories, stacks from electric power plants,
livestock running free or in corrals or tethered, canals and streams, gasoline
stations, the ubiquitous jumbles of overhead power lines, communication
towers, rice milling plants, ramshackle huts with satellite dish antennas,
eateries, rubbish piles, haystacks, storage yards with bricks, bamboo,
logs and lumber, construction projects with bamboo: walls, houses, bridges,
etc. with bamboo scaffolding everywhere.
The road traffic consisted of
countless motor bikes, farm tractors pulling makeshift trailers and carts,
livestock herders, school kids on bikes, the occasional car or truck, tour
buses, wedding processions . . .