Second Day Excursion

From the meetings and fun on the beach at the Koh Kong Resort, we proceeded on to the Bangkayak nature reserve built around a large banyan swamp. We were able to walk through the forest, climb an observation tower, and finish up with dinner in the park.

Arriving at Bangkayak Park Protecting nature and going to enjoy nature are not common practices in Cambodia. This Bangkayak mangrove swamp and restaurant, both simply but efficiently operated, are a good example of what can be done within the kingdom.

Pathway through the mangrove swamp The pathway through the mangrove swamp was a series of concrete slabs anchored to wooden pilings.

Pathway through the mangrove swamp This trip exposed many of the DDP staff to a part of their own country and a view of their own country that they probably didn't have before.

Pathway through the mangrove swamp The staff enjoyed the natural setting but also saw it as an opportunity for many really different photos.

Suspension bridge and observation tower An interesting development within the park is a five-story observation tower which is reached by a suspension bridge--which swayed and bounced excitingly--located at the end of the trek through the mangroves.

Suspension bridge and mud flats At the time of day we arrived, as dusk was falling, the tide was out and great mud flats were exposed.

Fishing family's home This fishing family's home on stilts above the estuary was visible from the observation platform.

DDP staff on tower Vannarith, Lieka, Sophy, and Charlie Dittmeier at the top of the observation tower.

Park restaurant This unostentatious but very pleasant restaurant is located within the park, on the edge of the mangrove swamp. We had an enjoyable seafood dinner there.

Young woman with her first dress This young deaf woman I first met when she was eleven years old and a resident at an orphanage run by Mother Teresa's sisters. She went through our program and now has a minimum wage job sewing bags and accessories for the tourist trade. At the gift shop at the restaurant, she bought this cute dress for $7. She told me it was the first dress she had ever had in her life.

Activity at hotel Back at the hotel, the organizers kept us going with another activity before we finally called it quits for the day.

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