I am so glad I chose to go bird watching. Only four of us went – Bruce, Beth, Dave R. and myself. We got up early to meet our driver and guide at 5:30 am but that meant we were out in the fields before the extreme heat of the day had begun.
At first glance we wondered whether we would see many birds but immediately Somphear pointed out the weaver nests and all the weaver birds flitting around them. After that we ended up seeing a huge number of different species. Normally there would have been a lot more water where we went – about 3-5 km south of Siem Reap – but we are in the dry season and this year has been exceptionally dry. Despite that, we saw close to 50 different species of birds. Beth kept the full list. Somphear carried a wonderful Swarovski telescope so the detail we missed with our binoculars showed up clearly in his lens. It was a lovely, quiet way to spend the morning and we all quite enjoyed ourselves. By the time three hours had passed the heat had fully set in and we were ready to call it a day.
The rest of the group had gone off to see more temples and weren’t back yet so we had a dip in the pool then wandered around town a bit. We were just heading out again for lunch when the rest returned so Dawne joined us. We found a nice western-style place with good ceiling fans and enjoyed some down-home food just for something different.
Dave, Dawne and Beth rushed off to join a group to see the “tunnel rats” that are trained to find unexploded incendiary devices. I decided to take it slow this afternoon because tonight we are going to the circus and tomorrow it is another early morning to head to Bangkok.
The circus was fantastic. It was held in a tent with steeply tiered seating and it was packed. They gave out hand fans which were absolutely necessary. The whole show was a Cirque-de-Soleil style event with a group of very athletic acrobats performing a story of a young man cast out from the village because he had a facial deformity but then eventually he gets welcomed back into the fold. They were incredibly talented and seemed to totally enjoy what they were doing.
Afterwards a group of us took the tuk-tuks back to the restaurant where Bun had once been the manager and had desserts and drinks before walking back to the hotel.