Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Angkor Wat

Visiting Agkor Wat is supposed to be a once in a lifetime experience. I've now done it more times than I can count...! This time I took a group of Cambodian students who did the photo project with me - The idea was to get them to have some fun and take pictures.

In a while I'll put some pictures here! ....

There is not a lot to report - the tuk tuk drivers are still ripping people off in the city and there is a persistent use of child beggars in the city which is distressing.

That said I totally recommend Golden Banana guesthouse (www.golden-banana.com) which is just a haven of blissfulness from the heat of the city and the temples. It was a stark contrast to the guesthouse I ended up in with the Khmers - My hotel for the first two nights with them was very Cambodian. The TV was on, I had to fight to get a room with a window, the bedding was unattractive (not just in a fashion sense but in an ewwww-ish way) and the shower was ready to give you an electric shock as soon as you were naked enough to amuse the 20 or so tuk tuk drivers who appeared to sleep in the reception and were just waiting for a "comedy" incident like this to happen. I requested some additional bedding and luckily we escaped unhurt from the shower of death on all occasions it was used. Not bad at $10 a night for 4 people - but it was not where I was going to stay for 4 nights.

In contrast the Golden Banana staff were charming. The standard single room was actually large, the shower room attractive, the towels fluffy, the bed white and crisp..... the pools (two of them) refreshing - ahhh perfect. Suffice to say on the third day I did nothing but sit by the pool and eat.

After a lazy day I felt like I should do something so I took advantage of the free shuttle bus to the silk farm operated by a NGO Artisans d'Angkor - I have been to the Artisans d' Angkor gift shop and general show rooms before and they were worth a visit to see crafts such as stonework and metal work in action. It is an impressive organisation which seeks to give Cambodians opportunities via learning a traditional craft: http://www.artisansdangkor.com/

More pictures to follow...

The products are pricey - However, once I had seen the number of hours that goes into making a ream of silk and the work this organisation was doing, employing over 1,000 people it seemed more than right to get that nice silk scarf at only $24. Ok, Ok so it would have been $2 in the market but it would have been not nearly as nice and the organisation and its aim/mission is definitely worth supporting. I now have quite a collection of products from their shops....


Donna Kemp said...

Now I am very envious! I am glad you are having such a wonderful time Mich!

Alex said...

Nice pictures and a great choice of life you have chosen Michelle. I got bitten by the blogging bug recently and currently enjoying updating my blog, even though nobody is really reading it. I would be going to PP with another friend of mine from America and would love to meet up a fellow blogger like you and get more insight of PP from an expert like you for my blog post on PP. Will try to avoid topics that are over blogged. Hope to get a respond from you and hope you have a good day ahead.



mandy said...

Hi Michelle, got to know your blog from Google =)

I am actually planning a company trip (small group) to Siam Reap in Dec this yr, can you please advice on a few nice & not too expensive places to stay in? Its is for 3 days 2 Nights.

Hope to hear from you. =) thanks!


mandy said...

Also, i love your photography! its really nice and your blog post gave me a deep sight to cambodia even before going to the place. =)