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September 19th 2006
Published: October 6th 2006
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18/09/06 Tonle Sap Lake

The lake is a huge area; 175 x 82 km when flooded in the wet season with glacial waters that have run down from the Tibetan plateau high up in the Himalayas. The lake is home to thousands of Cambodians and illegal Vietnamese immigrants all living on boats or floating houses. Families many fish to survive and there are also industries such as cat fish farms and crocodile farms. A crocodile is worth about $300 for it's skin to make purses, shoes (feel free to break into Jimmy Nail song), wallets and belts.

Children play in small boats and washing up bowls and come rowing over to tourist boats to beg.

At the end of our day in 'Pub Street' in Siem Reap we encountered many children begging, often missing limbs from land mines (we had visited the land mine museum earlier that day) and suddenly a storm broke above us with both lightning and thunder coming seemingly simultaneously. I thought that a bomb had gone off in the street and nearly jumped out my chair with the loudness of the crash and sudden flash.

A taxi driver explained to us that many people are struck my lightning. If it happens, you have to instantly cover the persons body in white cloth such as a table cloth and leave them for about 10 minutes. If you cover them in time then they suddenly wake again and are fine. If you don't cover them in time, then they die. I carefully memorized these instructions should we be caught in such a storm again!

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