Left one for you sir
Siem Reap Travel Blog› entry 13 of 45 › view all entries
February 22nd, 2008 – by: razorriome
The postcard pictures would lead you to believe that you may feel a bit like Indiana Jones exploring the massive buildings from a lost time. The reality is that you feel more like cattle being in a heard of Chinese tourists with matching florescent yellow hats or orange vests. I found it difficult to get any shots of entire temples without any yellow hats.
Each temple is amazing in its own right but I found the most impressive part to be the grandeur of the entire area and the total number of temples.
I met my friend Brenden from home as planned. I have been traveling for about seven months now and have grown used to traveling with people on small budgets. I have been eating most of my meals from street vendors for a dollar, I walk away from a deal over a quarter, I bargain for crackers in corner stores. So when Brenden showed up my traveling world got turned upside down overnight.
Cambodia has been slow to recover in the wake of devastation from the Khmer Rouge in the 1970's. A high percentage of locals have abandoned normal jobs and have focused tourism in one way or another. Men drive tuk-tuks and the work the front desk of the guest houses. Older women work the restaurants, and sell fruit from baskets on there head. Every major temple has an area at the entrance with dozens of plastic chair street market style restaurants.
The children sell books, sell bracelets and beg. The worst of the one who choose the pouty whinny technique to attempt to separate you from your money. They simply do not take no for an answer. I have had children follow me for more than 20 minutes repeating the same phrase in the same whinney voice. "Sir, 10 for one dollar." The more successful children go with the cutie pie approach and try to impress their prey with wide smiles, knowledge of the capital cities around the world, and the odd joke. A disturbingly high percentage of young women are prostitutes and seem to be absolutely everywhere.
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