The day started with a bike ride to the semi rural areas north of Battambang, including visits to rice paper makers, a rice wine distillery, a stop for fruit, a stop for sticky rice in bamboo and a banana drying stop. Each of the stops were at the homes of Cambodian families making a small living from their various enterprises. At the rice paper house the lady makes up to 1200 rice papers a day for a profit of around $5. And when its wet production stops.
After the ride and lunch we headed for Siem Reap by bus. The first half of the journey was roadworks, but as we got closer to Siem Reap the landscape changed to extensive rice fields and the roadside was cleaner, houses larger and generally felt much more affluent.
Siem Reap is a thriving, lively town, totally dependant on tourism – Angkor Wat is just a few kilometres away. The town has a population of about 30000, and about 20000 tourist beds!