A Step into Siem Reap

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hello everyone!
How's the weekend coming along? I heard that the CTE was on fire today and some exits on the expressway was closed? Oh dear, I shudder to think how bad the jam was! I hope everyone wasnt stuck for too long. :(
Some of you would have known we went to Cambodia last week and it was seriously one of my MOST AMAZING trip ever. 
The place, the people, the food, cheap beer .. I could go on and on.
However.... - admittedly this experience humbled me in more ways than one.
As I read the books and watched youtube documentaries on the history of Cambodia and Khmer Rouge regime, I learnt so much more about the country and how resilient humans could be.
I am in awe. I really am.
This series of my Cambodian trip is specially dedicated to my dear old friend Autumnleaf who recently had the most beautiful Chinese-Cambodian wedding in Phnom Penh. 
Dear K, I wish you all the happiness in the world. You are so beautiful truly, both inside and out :)
Siem Reap 13 April 
We took a Silkair early morning flight, transit in Danang before touching down in Siem Reap.
The skies was so blue! So love
A cloud of fluffy
The sun rays
We had to stay onboard before taking off again.
Our check-in luggage tags! All eleven of it! 
Thank you to everyone who kindly emailed me and donated so much for us to bring over.
Hello Siem Reap!
(Weather was hot hot hot)
Some of the stuff! Boxes of clothes and school supplies, along with sports equipment for the school.
Going to head to the hotel in Pub Street
Street sights along the way
Here we are!
The rest of the group got here the day before and was at lunch, so we dropped our stuff off first before meeting them. But not before camwhoring alittle first .. hehehe!
Staircase in hotel
Retro feel :p
Street performance!
Dunno what we doing la LOL
Our tour guide, Lee
(And Willy's bandaged fingers - which u will see more of later!)
We're actually off to Kampong Phluk.
The whole family on a bike/van/lorry
Not an uncommon sight as you will see! :D
Weather's a crazy 34 degrees at least so everyone would laze around in the shade coz its too hot to do anything productive!
This little boy has such huge expressive eyes!
Actually the little children here often go naked (but wear Spiderman hat ahaha) coz it was too hot to wear clothes.
You will also find small businesses along the road selling kerosene for motorbikes.
Another family travelling to somewhere!
Straw huts
Abandoned sampang by the lake, its the dry season so most of the villagers either use motorbikes or bicycles in this period of time.
As we drove along the road, we suddenly saw many many ducks!
Look! They were all going "Quack quack quack!!"
We all trooped down to take a closer look!
This was a guilty expression coz as I walked nearer to the ducks - they all started to RUN AWAY!
After the excitement of the ducks, we saw a small lone figure by the river.

I cant remember her name but she's a thin six year old girl who looks after the herd of ducks.
Our local tour guide starting talking to her coz he wanted to politely tell her that we meant no harm and just wanted to take some pictures. But as they got talking, he found out that she came from a very far away village and came to this area to work for her uncle coz her mum is too sick to look after her.
We asked her if she goes to school but it was heart-wrenching to find out that she earns approximately US$6 a month looking after the ducks everyday in the hot sun. 
She needs to send money to her ill mother so she cant possibly go to school. I cant start to explain how sad her eyes looked while she was talking to our tour guide.
Suddenly he took out some change and gave it to her. 
She started to cry. :(
We gave her some money and I wanted to kick myself for not having the sweets that I bought along specially for this trip. However i had some colourful pencils in my bag so I gave her one - wishing that perhaps one day, one day maybe she could go to school too and start writing. 
We continued our journey.
We need to pay toll!
At the entrance of each village, you could sometimes see a small makeshift hut for the family to collect a 'fee'.
Their houses are all on slits becoz when its monsoon period, all these land would be covered with water as high as 2 storeys!
Kampong Phluk 
It was actually the eve of the Khmer New Year so many families was preparing food for the celebratory dinner that very night.
Men pulling feathers off the chicken they just killed.
Sibeh relac lor 
These little girls was playing a simple game made up of plastic animals!
A little bit like playing marbles!
If you cant make all the animals go into the square, then u lose! 
How innocent they are.
Not a single ipad or tv game in sight.
Most of the children wear ill-fitting clothes that are either too big or very worn-out.
And they dun usually wear shoes at all.
Babies bath in a small pail coz clean water is pretty scarce.
Here's a view of the village! 
Can you believe this is how it looks like actually???
(Picture taken off the web)
Back to the village.
Kampong Phluk is a commune and village in Siem Reap Province in northern-central Cambodia. It is a floating village on the Tonle Sap. 
The name means "harbor of the tusks".
The villagers set up stores selling food, clothes, barber shops etc like any other market.
But they usually live on top, with their shops below.
Grocery shop
This little boy was so cute! Dragging his pail all over the street!
The bicycle is obviously too big for him but hey! He really rode it quite well!
Little girl outside her house staring down at us
Family on motorbike
Fish out to dry
This little baby girl was the cutest! She kept sending us 'flying kisses'!!!!
A tuk tuk - also known as motor taxi
As we walked the end of the village, a naked little boy stood by an old unused boat and started to wave at us and showing us the peace sign! It was hilarious.
I hope you enjoyed a peek of the pictures we took while in Siem Reap.
Before I continue with the rest,- those interested in the history of Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge could read  "Survival in the Killing Fields" by Haing Ngor or  "First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers" by Loung Ung.
Or simply go on to youtube to watch past documentaries on the regime that caused 1/3 of the country's population to either die of malnutrition,sickness and pain, or who simply got tortured,executed or went missing during the 4 years rule of the party.
Til then, take care :)
Back soon.
On a happy note -
here's the finished directed product of our good friend George from Creme Photography! Makeup by Joie.
Enjoy the short video! We had so much fun that day behind the scenes! :D
(Basically I was there to pass them water/snacks/umbrella what-not)
But good job guys! So proud of all of u.

Have a great week ahead!
Back to reply tags soon.

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