The first 3 days in Siem Reap, I just walked around the city, from lane to lane, from old market to night and central market, from Buddhist Temples to the mosque in Moslem kampong, from luxury and modern facilities in the town to the muddy roads and poor villages around it. I wanted to feel and taste the sense of Angkor city.
I met Raiya when walked along the riverside. She sat on the bench, facing the river. “If I remember my late father, I always sit here. He used to sit here when he was alive.”
Raiya is 21 years old, an orphan, live alone in this charming place with her own misery. She spends her life by teaching English to the children in the small village. Even live in simple and limitation, she has a spirit and pride to respect others. She gave money to the beggars, a woman and her child.
“Usually people don’t want to be a beggar if there is a job, even a small one with cheap salary. We are Cambodian people, use to work hard in the past and still now.”
Behind the row of modern hotels and guesthouses, there are lying small wooden local’s houses with rarely clean water. I saw a child in Moslem settlements. The road is muddy because of the rain before. Several men expel some cows and buffalos, a woman keep busy to take her children bath at a tap near her bamboo’s house. A pamphlet about use clean water placed near her. It seemed like too hard to find clean water here. Just a public tap water was here. How contrast with the facility in the hotel for the tourist, even a simple and cheapest lodging.
Sitting on the city park, below the tall and old trees, I saw women clean the grasses and planting some new flowers. The city government work hard to make Seam Reap a comfortable and nice place to live. But mostly, they did at for tourist sake.
Going down the street, the traffic are crowded with motorbike taxis, tuktuk, and bicycles. I rarely see cars. If there are any, mostly have been own by government officer.
The next three days I spent in Kampong Phluk, silk farming, and Angkor Wat like a usual tourist. One thing I found along these journey was, don’t be antipathy with the children around Angkor temples. Yes, they seemed annoying with their nagging like, ‘ please buy me madam, please buy me mister, just two dollars a set’.
Yes, they offered a set of 10 postcards for 1-2 dollars, a worse silk scarf for 2-3 dollars. But my friend got 3 sets of postcard for 2 dollars and a silk scarf for 1,5 dollars. She then checked the price in the markets. She found that children sold them in cheapest price compares with the markets.
Believe in me, children did it, followed you everywhere, because they need money so much. These children need at least 1-2 dollars a day, and they use the money to help their parents. Do you know that per capita income of Cambodia people a month is less than 60 dollars?
Well, it’s better for me to see the children selling something than begging around the temples. Here are the pictures of Angkor I’ve been taken that day.