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We (Hal Kussick, Tim Matsui, Sakhem, my wife Mieko and even our daughter Riki) have just returned from another visit to Moat Klas, the same village we visited last month.


Moat Klas is one of the more isolated villages on the Tonle Sap, and we have a keen interest in learning about the local culture as well as the unique challenges. We were all very sorry that Rick and Adrienne, who sponsored this trip, could not come along with us.




This time, we began our journey in Kompong Khleang. From the photo above, you can see just how dramatic the rise and fall of the Tonle Sap is. During the rainy season the water reaches to within less than a meter of the houses.


Sakhem and I have been discussing whether or not to make Kompong Khleang the home port for our boat, as there is a strong sense of "community" here that has been lost at the port closest to the city of Siem Reap, Chong Kneas.


With that feeling of community comes security. Chong Kneas, just south of Siem Reap, is now very much oriented towards tourists and is now inhabited in large part by people from elsewhere in Cambodia. Though Kompong Khleang is almost an hour's drive from Siem Reap, we may feel less anxious knowing that our boat is there.




This bridge is entirely underwater during the high-water season; marked only by the "flags" to indicate the channel.



As with past trips to this area, a great deal of time is spent simply riding across open water:




Mieko and Hal have the time to catch a nap.






Morgan Reaksmey, aka "Riki",enjoys the view from the bow.






Sakhem! Master of the Tonle Sap.






We finally arrived almost 3 hours after leaving Kompong Khleang.






Sakhem and the village chief of Moat Klas discuss the community, its problems and the village's history of involvement with other organizations...






...while Mieko takes samples of water from three different kinds of water filters to take back to her laboratory.






Sunset brings a beauty of its own to the surroundings.






A night filled with swarms of insects trying to invade our mosquito nets gave way to a beautiful morning. Breakfast delivery arrived shortly after sunrise...






...as did the butcher.



Many thanks to Tim Matsui for his time and his photographs.