Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Siem Reap Day Four: Silk Worms, Quad Adventures, and Planes that Leave Early

Today is our last day in Siem Reap.  So what better way to start the day off than with a couples massage.  After breakfast Bill and I leave the kids in the room and go just down the hall to the spa at the hotel.  And when I say spa, I mean an air conditioned room with two tables and curtain dividers.  An hour later we are refreshed and ready to go.

We had decided take a tuk tuk to the silk worm farm to experience the entire process of making silk.  It was about a thirty minute ride by tuk tuk.  I love riding in the tuk tuk.  It's such a fun way to get around with the wind blowing your hair and really seeing the people and landscape as you pass by.   Once at the factory/farm a tour guide shows us around.  First we see the silk worms, their cocoons,  and then the process of drying them out.  I didn't realize that they don't let the moths hatch because then the silk will be broken.  Once the cocoons are dried out, they are put in a pot of boiling water and the outer layer is unwound creating the raw silk.  The finer silk is from the inner layer of the cocoon.  We are shown how the silk is dyed and then we walk through the area where the weaving happens.  It is incredible.  So much time and work involved to make some of the intricate patterns.  I have a whole new apprentice for silk making.  Even the kids were impressed by this tour.

On the way back to town the rain started, so our tuk tuk driver pulled over to put the plastic sides up on our ride.  He asked Bill to hold his phone so it didn't get wet.  We asked for a recommendation for food and he took us some where I'm sure he was getting a kick back because the prices were double what we'd been paying.  We decided not to eat there and had him take us to the shopping area.  We found somewhere else to eat and then did a little shopping.

At 4:20 we returned to our hotel since we were getting picked up at 4:30 for our quad adventure.  The rain had been coming down for the last couple hours and it was still raining.  We were supposed to ride quads for about an hour through the countryside of Cambodia, but we weren't sure if it would be any fun in the rain, plus we were getting on a plane as soon as we were done.  Being wet and dirty on a plane late at night didn't sound like fun.  We talked to the driver from QuadAdventures who was there to pick is up, what he thought.  He said we could cancel if we wanted, but he couldn't give us a recommendation either way.  Ava thought we should do it.  She said who cares about the rain and it will be an adventure.  I love my girl!  So we went for it!

Riding in the open bed of a small truck down the tiny dirt roads to QuadAdventures was an exciting way to begin.  We had only booked two quads and we weren't sure how this would work.  Apparently our guide rides a motorcycle to lead us and I didn't want my kids on a  motorcycle.  They put plastic bags around our shoes, and were getting the quads ready.  It was decided that Bill was going to take the girls with him, one in front and one in back.  They gave us helmets, which was a pleasant surprise, and took me on little mini test drive.  The owner decided Ava looked nervous and decided to give his guide a quad to use so he could take Carter with him and Ava wouldn't be squished with Bill and Mia, she would ride with me.  So much better!

With shoes covered, helmets on, and training completed, we were off!  The rain had stopped and although it was muddy, it was beautiful.  We got out of town quickly and drove through the rice paddies and small dirt roads with houses.  Kids would wave at the side of the road to my kids.  We stopped to take pictures and learn some more about farming and history.  The hour flew by!  We were supposed to watch the sun set in the rice paddies, but with all the clouds in the sky we were not going to be able to see a sunset, which was perfectly fine since what we had seen was so peaceful and beautiful.

The owner printed out certificates for the kids commemorating their first quad ride.  Then we were returned to our hotel where we quickly gathered our things.  Much of the staff was out in the rain, because the rain had of course started again just as we finished our ride, to see us off.  Bill exchanged email with a couple of his new friends and goodbyes were said.  They all stood and waved as our van pulled away to take us to the airport.  I don't think I've ever had a send off like that.

Here's where it gets interesting, everyone had said we needed to be at the airport two hours early.  Okay no problem, we show up early.  We think there must be lines for checking in, no that's not the casement we sail though check in, well security musty take awhile, um no that is even easier.  Okay , okay it must be immigration, I mean getting into Cambodia was tricky so maybe leaving is too.  Nope, not even a line to wait in, they scan our passports and stamp them and we are through.  Wow, now we have over an hour and a half to wait around.  Our flight is scheduled to leave at 9:25pm.  It's 7:45 so we decide to eat some dinner at a restaurant.  We are just about done eating when we hear over the load speaker that our flight has begun boarding.  It's only 8:00, that's weird, I guess they like to start early.  We had just finished paying when we then hear Last Call for flight VN 814, wait thats our flight!!!  How can it be last call it's not even 8:15yet?  We grab our things and rush to the gate.  The screen above our gate that has flight by umber and departure time says 21:25 still.  We give them our boarding passes and climb onto the plane.  We are the last ones on.  The flight is taxing on the runway at 8:25!!!!  We are in the air before 8:30!!!!!  What?!  Our plane took off an HOUR early.  Now we know why everyone kept telling us to arrive early at the airport.

We made it to Ho Chi Minh City!  Since we left an hour early we arrived an hour early too.  Our friend Jacob was meeting us so we had a bit of waiting to do.  It all worked out though, we found Jacob, took a cab, and ended up at this beautiful house our friends had rented.  We made it!

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