Sunday, June 29, 2008

Shopping in Cambodia

Most of you know that I love shopping on my travels. However, I must admit that Cambodia offers a shopping experience that is not always typical nor comfortable. Have a read of my shopping list and you'll understand why...
  • My first purchase were some guide books from a man with no hands. Top Vanna is a land-mine victim who was disabled in 1988 while training new recruits on jungle warfare & survival skills. He now earns a living by selling books to tourists outside the Pasr Cha (Old Market) in Siem Reap.
  • Bracelets from this little girl (pictured here) outside the Ta Phrom temple. She followed me for about 200 meters and I finally succumbed to her sweet smile after she tripped and lost her slipper. Tourists will encounter hundreds of children hawking their wares and begging around the temples.
  • One CD of Khmer traditional music by a band comprising victims of landmine victims
  • Another CD of cello classical music by Dr Beat Richner, a Swiss paediatrician who has started four Kantha Bopha children hospitals, providing free treatment for the children of Cambodia
  • An apsara carving from Artisans D'Angkor - a school specialising in teaching impoverished youngsters the skills of wood and stone carving. The items are pricier than the old market but profits go back into funding the school and bringing more teenagers into the program
  • Purses made from re-cycled paper by the street kids of Siem Reap
I bargained very little on this trip.

1 comment:

Burning One said...

Hey, I liked your blog entry. I just got back from Cambodia myself, and have been a few times in fact. Your descriptions sound right on with my experience, in Siem Reap especially. It's a little different in the rest of the country