Thanks to the dark history of the Khmer regime, a lot of the locals are victims of land mines. You can see them trying to make a living playing traditional musical instruments on most entrance of the temples in Siem Reap. If I'm not wrong, some of them can make music out of some leaves or something. It's rather amazing. And the music is good, you can buy their CD too!
I did say the saleskids are very persistent, didn't I? Well, you get the idea. This little girl just wouldn't leave us alone. We sat there, enjoying the beautiful sunset on Angkor Wat. (In a way feeling bad writting about it now, we ignored her) Minutes later, she ran off to play with other kids. Thank god. I was just about to give in!
Angkor Wat is full of monks, some of them are very friendly and want to chat, others want to share a cigarette. Young cambodians guys have to be for some time in their lives monks, that happens when they are around 20 years.
Trucks with dozens of people on it is not uncommon in Siem Reap. Travelling around Siem Reap, you can see 3 or even 4 people on a bike. Horse carts and bicycles with loads that are more appropriately put on a truck; motorbike with 2 passengers, stick between them and 20 or more live chickens hanging upside down from the stick on both sides. I just wish I was fast enough to capture them all on my camera, but with the speed we were travelling at, I try not to blame myself.
You can see a lotta Toyota Camry in Siem Reap, 2002/2003 model. The funny thing is, almost all of them don't have any plate number on them.
You can see locals using their bikes for different purposes on a day. I'm sure on other day, this bike can be Tuk tuk. The loads they manage to put on a bike amazes me sometimes. It's not uncommon for you to see 3/4 ppl on a bike in the streets, without helmets!
The kids around the temples will try to sell you anything, postcards, cold, water, scarf, boolegged-tour guides, you name it. They are very persistent, to the point of annoying. Or pest? I'd a pretty good time taking pictures of them, talked to them, in their pretty limited vocabulary. I find them amusing. A lotta them, walked to you and said to me.
"Sir, if I tell you the capital of your country, would you buy from me?"
Nice try. I don't think they ever get it wrong. So, if you have no intention of buying from them, don't go there.
The Khmers penchant for craft is nowhere more apparent than in the intricate carvings found throughout the Angkor temples and Banteay Srei is often sited as the best example of Angkorian art bar none. Etched into a pinkish stone and viewed in the early hours of the sun’s likewise red hues, the temple has a bit of a fairy tale feel.
The custom of adorning Buddha figures in saffron robes is widespread in Cambodia but the practice adds particular color here at the ruins as they are otherwise in a natural state. In some of the corridors of Angkor Wat itself, there are rows of such representations with their flowing robes bringing the timeless hallways back to life.
Joss sticks are slender rods of incense that are burned at both home and temple shrines to bring good luck. This custom is integral to many Eastern religions, especially the predominant one of Buddhism in Cambodia.
While touring the Bantay Srey, you will hear local music wafting through the air. Under a shady tree, there is a group of landmine victims playing this beautiful local music to the delight of the tourists. Stop by and sit on one of the wooden benches and appreciate it, and before you leave, do drop a coin or note into their alms bowl.
Cambodia has serious AIDS epidemics. According to a research, over 40% of prostitutes have AIDS due to ignorance about AIDS, poverty and low position of women in society. Condoms, economic development and education… They still have a long way to go.
When the central tower of Angkor Wat was hit by lightning in 1994, the vice-president of Cambodia flew to Angkor. At the spot it had happened he was to lead a religious ceremony.
There was relativly little damage to the [800-year-old] temple, but the natural phenomenon was seen as a bad omen and therefor had to be cleared by a relegious ceremony.
Some gifted young tourist practiced their talented art work on the wall inside Angkor Wat.
They added a huge human mushroom (50x300cm) and a 'play-boy' trademark rabbit on the wall.
Please understand that destroying the origin and the beauty of this piece of ancient world are strictly prohibited.
Angkor Wat is the majestic work of Suryavarman II (1113- 1150). The moat and three galleries encircle the five central shrines.
Spend at least half day for this wall galleries if you have time here in Angkor Wat.
A scene on the earth where people are fighting among each other, killing each other and people are torturing each other for power and money. You even can see some weak people especially helpless women and kids are shouting and crying.