A later pick-up at our hotel was negotiated with the tour operator, so that we could enjoy our breakfast. As it turned out, we had the entire boat to ourselves which was wonderful, and our English-speaking guide was both entertaining and informative. They normally provide unlimited beer and soft drinks, but since we do not drink beer, they gladly offered to stop and buy wine for us. That was a very nice gesture, but we were good and drank water the entire day...so much healthier for us. Fresh fruits were served both going up river and down. Taking in the scenes along the banks of the Tonle Sap River was really fun and educational. Although the first stop at Koh Chen Island and the village of silversmiths was not without additional voluntary monetary outlay, the silver handicrafts were astoundingly beautiful and will serve as special holiday gifts in December.
After a brief lunch stop to enjoy a sampling of local cuisine, we were off to experience the former Cambodian royal capital city of Oudong, as well as the largest Buddhist center in the country. We took our time climbing up to see the burial sites of former kings, but the views from atop were spectacular and worth the effort. And the return boat ride was especially nice after the long day to just hang out, hydrate and relax. It was the perfect outing to get away from the madness which is Phnom Penh.