Vietnam to Cambodia Cycle Challenge - a day visiting local villagers

22 October 2017
  • Challenges

Vietnam to Cambodia Cycle Challenge - a day visiting local villagers

Another rest day for the team. In the morning, the team travelled to the Siem Reap driving through the picturesque countryside and walking through local villages handing out donations kindly given to us by generous Teens Unite supporters. We'll hear later from Chief Exec' Deb, what the villagers thought.

After stopping for lunch in Kompong Thom, the team visited Sambor Prei Kuk, a remarkable collection of 7th-century temple ruins that served as the capital of the pre-Angkorian Chenla Kingdom.

For the remainder of the afternoon, the team relaxed and took time to explore Siem Reap before heading back to the hotel.

Tomorrow, they’re back in the saddle and the challenge continues.

A WEEKEND UPDATE FROM Deb:

"Saturday morning, and we are up and out for 8am after we enjoyed a beautiful, buffet style breakfast.

We’ve got a Royal Appointment, we’re off to the Kings Palace.

After a visit to this most amazing place we head off to the killing Fields. We all struggle a little to learn of the horrendous things that have happened to these wonderful people and their beautiful country, in our lifetime, and we know so little.

The Killing Fields are a very sobering experience, and it’s awful to think that 3 million people lost their lives in the campaign that took place. We feel that we know so little as there was no Social Media which we reply on to learn about what’s going on in the world around us.

Quietly, we head off for lunch. We are keen to help the local people to earn money so we head to a local restaurant where we eat the most delicious barbequed prawns and squid. Of course there is rice and fresh veg, but it was such a lovely lunch.

After lunch and the visits this morning, we are ready to relax and see the sights at the Russian Markets – the people here are very hungry for success, they are not educated as such, but their English is amazing and they are very keen to share their crafts with us, and we are happy to buy them.

On the way back to the hotel, we see three generations of one family working on what looks like a construction site – we stop to speak with them, and find that they have come to the town from one of the villages and are building their own home. The children do not go to school here, the parents need to earn money to send the children to the cities to go to school, so our little gift bags of pencils, books and basic stationary are very welcome.

Today was a really lovely day, just to relax, enjoy each others company and a few drinks. We have an early start tomorrow, so we just enjoy the rest.

Sunday, we are up and and out by 7.30 need to get going before the traffic builds – people here go to bed early but get up and start working early too. We’re all a little emotional after yesterday and the thought of our final cycle tomorrow. On the bus, there is silence apart from the occasional “sob” as we watch the film, The Killing Fields, but armed with the knowledge that we picked up yesterday.

We stop and visit a wonderful temple which has received the equivalent of National Heritage status, and it is a real wonder. Children are selling scarves for $1, they are hungry to earn money, not “educated” but have the most amazing English, so helpful, loving and kind, and become our unofficial guides for the day – such a wonderful experience and well worth a few dollars.

Back on the bus, a couple of hours sleep. When we arrive, we have to do the paperwork ready for the ride tomorrow.

We head for an early dinner, tomorrow we have the opportunity for a 4am start to see the sunrise ahead of the final cycle. Not sure I am up for that, I may just wait for the photos.

More tomorrow for our final leg. Thank you for reading, we’ve had the most amazing time, and hope that we have shared even a little of what we have experienced.

Love Deb x"

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