Cambodian Floating Markets

Posted by on Jul 7, 2014 in Asia, Cambodia

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The boys and I headed out one morning to check out Cambodian Floating Markets. Tom really wanted to see what they were all about and Milo was just excited about a new form of transport.

We caught a Tuk Tuk out to the Dock which was about 25 minutes from the Old town. We had a few issued getting on a boat. The ticket desk is run by corrupt and rude men who were very unwilling to help me out. They basically refused to let me combine with another family and made me buy my own private boat. Very frustrating and what is worse is I got the impression that if Scott was with me, this whole situation might not have happened!

We hoped on our private boat (for 20) and headed up the river. The first thing I noticed was the water was very muddy and brown and the surrounds were very desolate. I have been to the floating markets in Bangkok and for some reason was expecting the same Lucious green vistas!


IMG_6079  Milo REFUSED to sit anywhere else other than on our driver’s lap! He is so passionate about driving any form of machinery. Since we arrived in Cambodia he spends most of the time running around with both arms up in the air pretending to be a motorbike! IMG_6085

The houses all float on the water, some have actual boats underneath, others are just surround by empty 44gallon drums. The area is very poor and materials are scarce.

IMG_6119 IMG_6127 IMG_6131 IMG_6135  My gorgeous Tom loved riding up the front of the boat. We have noticed how much the boys just love to ‘fly’ by on tuk tuks and boats. They obviously connect more with nature and their surrounds this way.


The ‘General Store’ we visited in order to buy supplies for the local orphanage/school. I have mixed feelings about this place as they had jacked the prices of everything up so much because tourists are brought here and given a long story about how the kids don’t have families and parents and please can we buy some food/water/school supplies for them. As a tourist I don’t mind contributing to local charities at all. In fact it is awesome when you get to see who and what will benefit, however I was totally disgusted by the inflated prices for this store (a small bag of rice, 2 knobs of garlic, a small bottle of oil and a tiny bag of sugar was $12 – In the markets it is probably about $2) However I was put in a catch 22 position as I either buy them the supplies at $12 or I give them $12 and they come and buy it from there themselves because they don’t have the means to drive/boat to town. Really not cool!

IMG_6153   Inside the “general store”IMG_6215

Milo hung out in the orphanage with the local kids. They loved him and he was very happy to ‘play’ school for a little while. Tom wasn’t interested in the kids and was happy to play around outside. I wasn’t too impressed by the ‘school’ as no one seemed to actually be doing anything (including the teacher) and everyone was very excited to see us, but when the teacher saw that I had only brought them 15 bottles of water (instead of the 50kg of rice that my guide had suggested was a reasonable offer) he sat back down and ignored me! Don’t get me wrong I was happy to help out I was just totally disgusted at the whole scenario. I also saw our guide eating food that the school was making for the kids out the back. He looked a bit embarrassed to see me and when I questioned whether he was eating food that had been donated (bullied) out of other tourists for the purpose of feeding orphaned children, he didn’t respond!


The next stop was the crocodile farm and floating market. It was two large platforms joined together and had a big pit of crocodiles out the front. They were kind of cool until one of them bit the other and then they become a wee bit scary! I have never been a huge fan of crocs but it still wasn’t nice to see them in their ‘farm’ habitat! IMG_6194


Especially as this is where they end up. Either strung up for people to buy whole or …




Stuffed and ready to go straight to the pool room! Needless to say, despite my obvious disgust, the kids LOVED the baby stuffed crocodiles (they are all over Siem Riep town as well) and loved to touch their teeth! Ewww!


Then …. out of nowhere a little girl wrapped her python around my Baby! I think I might have squealed LOL Tom wasn’t too taken, but Milo LOVED the snake and went back for multiple pats and pokes!



I was a bit grossed out (I am actually not to bad with snakes, just shocked to see one all over my little boy) but then I turned around and the owner who was a sweet little girl was genuinely upset that we didn’t like her pet and was cuddling the poor thing and telling him that he was still beautiful and that she still loved him. I was so touched by her affection for her snake that I took her photo (isn’t she sweet). She clearly loved her pet and spent a lot of time playing with it when no one was looking! 



Then the highlight of the trip occurred. I caved in and let the boys share a lemonade! They were silent for a whole 23 seconds and then it was all over! However they did have big smiles! I love this photo of them as they couldn’t quite get close enough to the can without banging their heads together LOL  IMG_6159


Then we went out to Asia’s largest lake (apparently – I haven’t googled it) and it all pretty much looked like this! We headed back to the main dock and saw some great sites along the way

IMG_6201 IMG_6208 My guide asked for a tip at the end of the day and then added on ….”just $5 (US) each …you can afford it!” He then wanted one for the driver and the other guy on the boat as well. It didn’t sit very well with me at all. I am glad I went on the trip but I am not sure I would recommend it, as it was just way to commercialised and most people were rude when they thought you weren’t going to give them money.The kids had a good time though and for the most part it was an interesting insight into how part of the people of Cambodia live!

IMG_6212 IMG_6245






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