This morning, we awoke for our first morning of Tai Chi on the terrace before disembarking for an early excursion in the small village of Angkor Ban. As one of a handful of villages that wasn’t destroyed during the Khmer Rouge, many of the original houses still stand and date back several hundred years. We had the opportunity to visit several family homes and learn about their family shrines and the construction of aged bamboo and teak. We met several elders in the community who shared about their lives.
After returning to the Jahan, our voyage was blessed by two monks from the village. We learned from Wantey about different Buddhist customs, including how to properly greet monks, and we were grateful to receive their blessings. A long, chanted prayer was facilitated by members of the crew and staff.
After lunch, we traveled to the island of Koh Oakhnatey to visit “Silk Island,” an interactive silk-weaving cooperative. We were shown step-by-step how silk is processed from cocoons. We learned about the weaving process while watching artisans complete the initial extraction and spinning of the silk from the cocoons into beautiful, golden-yellow spools.
Upon returning to the ship, we witnessed the “meeting of the four rivers” during cocktail hour. We enjoyed watching the confluence, where the clear waters of the Mekong meet the murky waters of the Tonle Sap.