Above: We met this lady selling Lotus fruit on our first day right next to Angkor Wat.
Our week in Siem Reap was fascinating and very rewarding. A one hour flight from Bangkok, you can’t help but be struck by the differences when you arrive in Cambodia. Firstly, Khmers look quite slightly different from Thais; darker, with rounder eyes and softer features. They’re actually very attractive. Though maybe not as smooth as the Thais (some call them rough around the edges) we found them polite and welcoming. One of the things you’ll notice immediately as a visitor is the poverty. Roads carry much less traffic, there are more motorcycles than cars, lighting is barely sufficient and you’ll see stretches along the side of the road that look barren and destitute. You’re likely to see a woman walking down the street, pulling her 3 cows behind her. Food stalls on the street look pitifully void and you wonder what, if anything, they are selling. At the temples children will run up to any tourist that comes, trying to sell trinkets, magnets, postcards, or scarves. Almost everything costs a dollar. Out of the poverty you cannot help but be incredibly impressed by these locals who can converse in multiple languages. We heard locals speaking in Spanish, German, Portuguese, French…you don’t get that in Thailand. We were very impressed by the people and our hearts often went out to them.
I’ll be doing a very comprehensive post next week on the temples of Angkor Wat. In the meantime, here are a few photos of people and scenes of everyday life in Cambodia.
Kids on Big Bikes
One of the first things we noticed were little kids on really big bikes. You see these kids on all the backroads (further from the popular sites) as they’re heading to and from school.
Below: The little girl in the red had approached us about buying postcards from her. Unlike some of the other vendors she didn’t harass much, only saying “when you come back you buy from me”. I promised I would. When we came back all the other girls jumped on me trying to sell us their goods. But I singled out my girl and gave her a dollar for some postcards. You can see the happiness on her face.
Below: Little kids at East Mebon temple
Below: Cambodian couple on motorcycle right next to the imposing gate of Angkor Thom.
Below: Lady selling fruit
Below: We’ve never seen tractors that look anything like this anywhere else.
Below: The lighting conditions were terrible on this photo. I lightened it up, boosted the saturation and came up with this interesting looking shot.
Below: Our guide Nat. He drove us around for 3 days and blessed us with his smile.
If you haven’t subscribed yet and want to get our posts and newsletters sent to your email, just insert your email address below: