The silken costumes with gold embellishments transform these Angkor Wat models into winged creatures, apsaras, and other mythological beings from Angkorian times. They position themselves in a prime location within Cambodia’s famed Angkor Wat complex.
With time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown. – Proverb
Throughout Cambodia, marketplace stalls overflow with mounds of beautiful shimmering silk. There’s everything from scarves and chic purses, to fabric designed for tailor-making shirts, dresses, and jackets.
As someone who is often tempted by these lovely accessories, I was eager to learn more about the silk-production process. So, we hopped on a tuktuk to travel to the Artisans d’Angkor Silk Farm, a social business. It’s just 16 km (about 10 miles) outside of Siem Reap, Cambodia, making a great day trip if you’re visiting the temples of Angkor.
For centuries, Cambodians have been producing silk and creating woven masterpieces with it.
Once the silk has been carefully extracted from the silk worm’s cocoon, it is washed, twirled on to bobbins and boil-dyed either via a natural or artificial coloring technique.
I’m not sure if the silk samples featured here were colored naturally or artificially. Either way, the resulting colors are vibrant!
While walking along Phnom Penh’s riverside, we happened upon a landmine awareness photography exhibition.
This child’s lively eyes and curious gaze caught my attention. His peaceful spirit contrasted sharply with the cruel creations depicted in the images at which his father was intently gazing.
T’was Christmas Day in Cambodia… The sun shone brightly overhead. Golden grass and towering palm trees danced in the strong gusts of wind. Cows mooed and baby chicks tiptoed about.
Though we were far from our family and friends who are scattered throughout the world, we yearned to have a special holiday. And indeed we did, surrounded by our new Cambodian friends, as well as an adventurous and kind couple from France.
On Christmas Morn, on a family compound in Cambodia’s Takeo Province, we learned how to thresh rice. Following our bed & breakfast owner’s cousin’s cues, we thrashed the dry bundles against a table comprised of thin wooden slats.
It was on the dusty backroads in Cambodia’s Takeo Province that a well-travelled toy fish found its way to a new home. To get there, the little fish literally had to bridge a divide.
One morning, we packed our borrowed bikes’ baskets with bottles of water and a purple plush toy. The toy fish, with its big eyes and soft fur, had travelled with us for two months in our limited and cramped luggage space – from Germany, to Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and finally, Cambodia. For weeks, we had been waiting to find the perfect young recipient. This morning, we were sure we would find him or her on the provincial back roads. Eighty percent of Cambodians live in the rural provinces.
Tuktuks pass by the exterior of Phnom Penh’s Royal Palace compound, just before sunset.
The opulent structure was built in the 1860s.