Photos of Faces and everyday life in Cambodia

Faces of Cambodia

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.


Young monk in Angkor Wat

Something about this girl warmed Lissette’s heart. Negotiation over a shawl included getting a photo of her.

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.

We came upon this scene when arriving at the remote site of Banteay Samre; 3 pigs slung over the back of a motorcycle.



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.




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  1. I can’t wait for your next post! I LOVED Cambodia when I was there back in 2001. We just booked our flight to Siem Reap in February, and I couldn’t be more excited. One thing – are you sure those pigs on the motorbike were dead? Last time I was there I was on the back of a motorbike riding next to one that was carrying a pig like that. I also assumed it was dead, until we hit a bump and the pig opened its eyes and started grunting. Poor thing.
    Robb recently posted…Eating bugs: A story of fear, foolishness and triumphMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Hmmm…you might have a point Robb. They were upside down, legs in the air, and they weren’t grunting or farting or whatever pigs do. Assumed they were dead.
      You know, I had a bunch of people giving me crap about my latest post on the elephants but the same people don’t say anything when it comes to the treatment of pigs, chickens, or water buffalos do they? You’re right, poor things.
      We really enjoyed the trip and found the people special. Hope you enjoy it as much the 2nd time around!

  2. Great post and lovely photos. Looking forward to reading about Angkor Wat – I’ve wanted to visit Cambodia for a long time.
    SaraHardmanTravels recently posted…Seeking Sanctuary at Aqua Sana SpaMy Profile

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