This morning we visited a village outside of Kampong Cham.
Some of the children followed us as we walked through the village. They would take turns holding our hands.
Each family had their own rice paddy field.
We visited one village family who supplemented their income by making beaded necklaces, bracelets, sewing small bags, carving wooden utensils. They also let us visit their home upstairs.
In the village was the local store or as our guide called it, “7 Eleven”!
There also was a traveling market going through the village.
We visited the Twin Holy mountains, “Phnom Pros and Phnom Srey”. They really are hills but because the area around it is so flat they seem like mountains. We were told the story of the local folklore about how the hills got their names. It was said that a mountain-building competition was organized between men and women to determine who of the two should propose marriage. One mountain was made by men, and the other by women. They had a day to build their hill and whoever built the highest hill would become the winner. The loser would be the one to ask the for the opposite side’s hand in marriage. The competition would end when the Sirius Star rose which was very early in the morning. The women had placed a lantern high so that when the men saw the light, they mistook it for Sirius and stopped working. So the women won. Their mountain is taller and named Phnom Srei (Women’s Hill). The man’s mountain was called Phnom Pros (Men’s Hill). Thus the men still had to ask the woman’s parents for permission to marry.
Phnom Srey (woman hill) and Phnom Pros (man hill) both have pagodas on them but the Phnom Pros was more ostentatious.
In between the two hills was another killing field by the Khmer Rouge. Thousands were massacred here. Phnom Pros from 1975-1979 was used as a detention place for torturing Cambodian people in the Kampong Cham province.
We spent our time at Phnom Pros. Here we visited the Temple and the Buddha Garden.
The library was located at the base of the hill. The library had four smiling faces.
There were many Macaques monkeys running around. We were told to leave our water bottles on the bus because they would steal them and you don’t want a chance of a scratch or bite.
As we left the hills we saw statues in roundabouts as we were heading back to the riverboat.
This afternoon we had free time so we walked over to the Pagoda and walked all through the grounds. There were some lavish stupas and we also saw the decorated dragon boat that they use for the Dragon Boat Festival.
Afterward we walked into the local market and looked around.
This evening was the Captain’s Cocktail Party that included a farewell toast because this was our last night on the Viking Saigon. It was hard to believe that we would be disembarking tomorrow.