Cambodia's only winery

Today we got on the tuk-tuk a bit earlier as first we went to a resort on the outskirts to spend some time at their pool and have lunch there. For a few dollars you can have this sort of arrangement with most hotels.

After a relaxing time living in the lap of luxury we headed to the ruins at Phom Banan. A temple the locals say served as a model for Angkor Wat, though much smaller (it was build a few years before). It is at the top of a long staircase up a hill. We had to visit it separately as the kids had fallen asleep. It's worth the climb, with nice flowers and flowering cactus amongst the ruins. On the way up I bumped into one of the people the guide book warns you about - he claimed to be in charge of a school charity and then pockets your money. Even without the warning we wouldn't have fallen for him: we hardly give any money on the way, and definitely not on the street - we prefer to give a lump sum to one or a few charities when we get back.

Had to abort a visit to see the sleeping fruit bats, the road was closed. So we went straight on to the only winery in Cambodia. They make a drinkable red, a horrible brandy, a nice but raisiny grape juice, and a gorgeous something with ginger. Then we hot the back roads again to pass by the local farms and over a dodgy (but new-looking and made of metal) bridge to a small Muslim fishing village (Muslims make up about 5% of the population in Cambodia).

Back in Battambang a nice surprise, a batucada (African drum session) in the street by some girls from Madagascar. It's all part of an Asian tour they are doing as part of a youth and cultural interchange program to promote human rights and improve the quality of life of disadvantaged women and children through education. Just to ram the message home we noticed that part of the crowd which had joined to watch included some of the local street kids, each with his glue-sniffing bag. Some were really small, it was very sad to see.

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