A trip out has given me the idea for a new business in the UK … hammock bars.
I went out with some of the staff at the school, vaulting onto the back of a motorbike as if I was born to it, and we headed out of town for the day.
First stop was a fishing lake, with beautiful pink waterlilies.
After you’ve caught your fish, you can relax in a shady hammock while they cook it for you for lunch.
I tried out the hammock
and very comfy it was too. But we weren’t fishing and lunching, we were moving on to another popular local relaxation spot – West Baray. A baray is a reservoir, and this one was built to siphon off the excess water from the moat around Angkor Wat, to stop the temples from flooding.
We settled ourselves into hammocks for a bit of R and R.
It costs approx 55 pence to rent a hammock for the day – obviously my prices will have to be a bit higher in England, but even so, I’m sure they’ll prove extremely popular and offer excellent value for money.
We lolled around admiring the view
until it was time for lunch. There’s a barbecue stall just outside the hammock bar
and we ordered a whole chicken and some quail, with rice. They come with chilli sauce, or pepper and lime to make your own sauce.
Then a fruit seller came around with coconut, watermelon and lots of other fruit that don’t seem to have names in English.
I went for a walk along the road after lunch and noticed a crowd gathered under a tree. They were watching a monkey who was high up in the branches glaring at them.
A young boy started throwing ice cubes at it – perhaps it’s a local custom – so I moved away as I’ve heard several stories of people being bitten by monkeys and having to travel miles to get a rabies shot.
I went down to the lake and tested the temperature and it was like bath water; I’ve never been in such warm water that wasn’t artificially heated.
It’s a bit brown, but I think that’s the colour of the sand, rather than anything noxious.
Back at the hammock bar, the children of the owner were having fun.
The two little girls are in school uniform, because the government schools operate on a Saturday. The uniform seems to be the same in every school – navy skirt or trousers, and white shirt.
There was even someone’s spare uniform drying on a pole among the trees.
The cost of the whole hammock experience – four hammocks for a day, plus barbecue lunch for four, was £9.13.
As we were leaving, a tuk tuk arrived loaded with monks –
– and the answer to the question is six. We’ve only ever managed five, so they obviously don’t mind getting a bit cosy together.