Monday, July 9, 2012

Siem Reap, Cambodia - Let's Explore Together

Siem Reap. Like I have already told you, the main highlight in Siem Reap? Must do. Must explore. Must experience. Angkor Wat. Otherwise, don't bother coming this far or near from wherever you are. What else can you embark on in Siem Reap? Maybe, best will be me sharing what we did in Siem Reap and then, you can decide if you want to opt for the same (Ho Chi Minh City). Our day starting on the same note, hotel buffet breakfast, followed by. Artisan d’Angkor. Artisan d'Angkor. Set up as a social responsibility form for lending support for the underprivileged boys and girls. Training them on hand skills for ensuring they can positively move forward in life now and forever. 

In store of us in Artisan d'Angkor? Taking a look at the hand skills of these boys and girls in the workshop and they, even if you try to greet and smile at them, they will not respond. In fact, they won't even look at you this rather a small area which you can cover, within most to most 10 minutes. That's it and subsequently? Head over to the shop if you want to buy those handmade items. Not cheap though compared to if you are buy from elsewhere. Then again, our purpose of buying is not about just buying, but for contributing towards the betterment of  Artisan d'Angkor? In other words, we indirectly funding by buying.  

An hour in Artisan d'Angkor. Honestly. Time crawled at its like tortoise speed. Half an hour would have been better. Guess? Tour travelling? Out of Artisan dÁngkor, and for an early lunch by 12.00pm in Restaurant Cambodian Kitchen. Akin a wonder meal. Spiciness, sourness, sweetness and saltiness, and all these tastes popping in the dishes we tucked in. Sheer delightfulness. 

After lunch, we had a choice. Between city tour from the coach itself, or back to the hotel to rest or to “Wat Thmey/The Cambodian Killing Fields. Unanimously, we agreeing on Wat Thmey. Oh! What an experience seeing the skulls, heads and human bones. The aftermath of the brutality of Khmer ruling from 1975-1979. Oh-my-god. So sad and tragic. Reminiscences of Cambodia's past trouble and what Cambodians endured during Pol Pot's dictatorship. Oh-no. Of course, there's a small Buddhist temple as well. 

Where else? Cambodian Cultural Village. In a huge garden area. Firstly, for the history of Cambodia in the museum. Basically, just a small museum. Maybe 20 minutes of your time in the museum.  

Thereafter, to the theater across for Cambodian Cultural Show. Nonsense. Hundreds of tourists all like stuffed up together. Hardly any space to move around and not enough fans until I couldn't take the heat and sweating. Furthermore, once you are seated, I sat on the floor, there is no way you can escape out. Like I have told you, no space for even getting up and walking. Unless, you don't walking all over the people. Hell. How did the show go? Don't ask me. I was not even paying attention. Some singing and dancing and an audience being amongst the performers. 
Thank god, show ended within an hour. Next was acrobatic show at the open area. Interesting start, colourful costumes and stunts, but after the first 10 minutes, I  put a halt by walking away. Boring stuff. 
I walked to stalls across for grabbing a drink. That's when? "Pong Tia Koon/Cambodian Balut" caught my attention. I knew what these are. Developing chicken embryo and I think duck embryo as well. However eaten, whether just like that or by cracking the shell and some salt atop and sucking the gooey smelly eggs, no, no. I didn't dare. I may be an adventurous foodie, but there is a limit to what I will try or not. Furthermore, from this street stall whereby dust was flying all over the place. 
Time out from Cambodian Cultural Village, dinner and to our hotel and prior to a long drive to Halong Bay next morning.   


  1. So interesting to see these pictures of skilled artisans at work. Your post reminded me of such a place in Bhutan. They didn't seem to be distracted by the tourists who looked on and took photos. They went on working. Another aspect of Cambodian life that we might not have seen otherwise. Looking forward to your lunch in a Cambodian restaurant.

  2. Really loved this post nava and really hats off to those artists.super

  3. It is some thing great not to be disturbed by other while doing the work.

  4. Beautiful sculptures. Interesting post.. Nice to know about skilled artisans..

  5. they are so beautiful because people behind work so hard for one single piece...lovely pics nava...sorry dear could not catch up long time, now am back on track

  6. Love anything related to art.Loved the pics of workshop and skilled artisans.

  7. Wow Nava you show us something new every time!!! Loved the pictures and the project

  8. It very interesting to know where the items come from and started in this case amazing sculpture.


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