Siem Reap: The Other Town
The other day I wrote about Siem Reap as a town and the impact tourism has on it as a town. True, that tourism is what makes the town sustain itself but nevertheless there is a very interesting character to the overall town that most tourists never see.
There is abject poverty all over but somehow the people still seem happy. The pace of life outside of the tourist route is one of a slow paced sleepy nature. Things take their time to happen. It didnt help that we were there in 40 deg C heat and it rained every evening.
The people are very hospitable. Even though there is poverty, at no point did I feel threatened or unsafe about being robbed for money.
The US dollar is the parallel currency, to the point where ATMs give US currency if you use a non-Cambodian bank card.
Children are the main peddlers of goods and tourist curios. Its hard to not say no to a 5 year old kid selling 4 trinkets for a dollar. And on top of that, they speak perfect English. Infact most people in Cambodia spoke english. I think they have understood that to woo tourists, they need to speak the tourists language.
Here are some pictures of day to day life in Cambodia that one would otherwise not see as a tourist.