08-Oct-2004 -- 13 N – 104 E Siem Reab, Cambodia
Visit Date: October 8, 2004
This is the 1st line hunting trip in Cambodia by the Yip-Bannicq group (Ray) together with Prak Sam Oeun (Sam) from Phnom Penh. For Sam this is his first ever line hunting,
and he also served as the local guide by arranging the boat to reach the point located in the middle of the Great Lake of Cambodia – Tonle Sap.
To a large extent, this hunt was feasible because of the information provided by the first-time hunters– Mautz and Elionard – who came within 2.4 km to this point in August 2003 during a speedboat ride from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. Through their report we knew this confluence point can only be reached by boat, and it is within striking distance from Siem Reap.
This hunt was done with the guide of the GPS only. It was not possible to find a useful map before the hunt in Siem Reap. Ironically, after the hunt, while waiting for a flight to Bangkok at Siem Reap airport, Ray found an excellent “GPS Compatible” map of Cambodia published by the Gecko Maps at the Duty Free Shop.
From the hotel we were staying in Seim Reap, the straight-line distance to 13N-104E is 41 km. First we drove to the harbor town of Chong Khnies, about 12 km south of Seim Reap and this put us 35 km to the point. The boat we hired was one of those used by tourists visiting the floating villages nearby.
After passing the first 2 km of the floating village area, we turned the GPS to the Captain and he pretty much followed the arrow of the GPS to the confluence point. Based on the GPS, our boat was moving at a comfortable speed of 20km/hour, and it took us exactly one hour and forty minutes to reach the 100-meter zone where the point is located. We reached the zone around 11 am.
Given this is our first line-hunting by boat, the “zero-in” process was more like making an elephant dance. We made three passes in attempting to capture the all zero reading, on camera and that was not easy. The best shot we got put us about 15 meters away. In fact, during one of the pass, the camera battery ran out, and it was a real scramble to replace the batteries.
The nearest land from this confluence point is about 9-10 km toward east. No matter how we strain, we could not see any sign of land. The first landmark that was visible during our return was a small mountain located at Chong Khnies about 30 km away. At which point, we were 7 km away from the confluence point. It turned out to be the only hill in this vast upper great lake area which includes the famous reserve area of Angkor Wat.
The most interesting part of this line hunting trip was going through the floating villages at the start and at the end of our boat journey. There were floating homes, stores, schools, and church all anchored on water.
Instead of spending the remaining half day in Siem Reap at Angkor Wat, the line hunting trip by boat was a terrific way to see another aspect of this colorful country. This point marked the southern most confluence visited by the Y-B Group.
On the flight out, it was clear that this particular point could be one of the few confluence points reachable during this time of the year in Cambodia. From the air, we could see that vast areas of farmlands were flooded, the result of the rainy season. Had we attempted to hunt for a confluence point on land, we probably would have needed to bring a boat also.
Rating of this hunt:
Degree of Challenge: 1 – a straight shot by boat with no restrictions on where to turn on water! (Scale: 1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
Scenery: 4– The great lake is like an ocean but the floating villages on the way were fun to go through (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
Culture-social factors: 4– Rural Cambodia scene – colorful and friendly (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)