My Impression on Siem Reap

Siem Reap, the capital city of Siem Reap Province, Cambodia. Because of BlogFestAsia, this is my second time to be here. I am excited to be selected to join in this conference where I could meet many bloggers in Asia and I could express myself through blog competition. 🙂

Yesterday, on 02nd November 2012, I am blessed to know three new bloggers from three different countries: Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines. I could consider myself as a translator or a guide because I am Cambodian and I am the only person who can speak Khmer. 🙂

As plan, we would go to four places: Angkor Silk Farm, Landmine Museum, Tonle Sap Floating Village and the Old market. But everything had to be changed after arrival of one place, the Landmine Museum.

First of all, we hopped on the Tuk Tuk going to Tonle Sap Floating Village. We were excited to be there even we didn’t have lunch yet. After arrival, we spent $10 each to ride a boat. To me, as Cambodian, I felt depressed that I have to pay the same amount as my three friends who are foreigners. No way to reject because it is my first time to explore floating village at Siem Reap. Then we went to a boat. After selecting a nice boat, the driver brought us to the Vietnamese floating village. It was quite surprised to explore Vietnamese floating village on the Tonle Sap River in Cambodia. Can I see Cambodian floating village on Tonle Sap River in Vietnam too? I didn’t know. My friend asked me they had Identity Card? I didn’t know too. I didn’t know whether they were immigrants or not. To me, I don’t care too much on their nationality. What I want to know is how they treat Cambodian natural resources. 

😦 It was not a nice view to see them living uncleanly on the water, poo and pee on the same place, put some chemical on the water then boil it to drink, etc. I saw some plastic bags floating on the river. As known, in the marine environment plastic bag litter is one of the ways in killing fishes and animals. It is not the matter of being educated; it is a matter of loving environment and nature. “Start to LOVE nature in Cambodia” is a message from Mr Chou Phanith, my Environmental Lecturer.  🙂

I started to remember the Let’s Do It Phnom Penh 2012 which was the cleaning up city event. This event should be conducted in this place too so that they could know how to take care their wastes. No matter where they are come from, if they want to live/stay here, they have to love our nature and the environment as themselves as same as their natural resource and environment at their own country.

🙂 Secondly, we went to Landmine Museum. This plan was cancelled because it was only me alone who preferred to visit there. I decided not to go inside because I didn’t want to spend $1 for entrance fee to visit alone in 15 mn. I felt uncomfortable to pay and to have a short visit alone. Even I felt quite regretted but I still expected to visit it again in the third time in Siem Reap with another team for a long time.

Thirdly, we went to Angkor Silk Farm. I did some translations and some interviews. I could not translate well because some words I didn’t know how to call in English. Moreover, I could not catch their accent. Even they spoke Khmer but it was not the real Khmer. Some people have been working there for long time whereas some were the new comers. What I like the most is not how to make a silk products but it is the connection between animal and nature, nature and human, and animal, human and nature. Because of mulberry trees (nature), the worms (animal) and the hard work of human being, that’s why we could get the nice silk products. If we don’t take care of environment, protect the nature, how can we take advantage from it?

At last, we arrived at Cultural Village. Our time was running short so we just took photo and returned to town.

😦 Honestly and personally, I’m quite sad that I forgot to ask my tuk tuk driver about the North Zone security centre which was located in Siem Reap Town and was located in a former French colonial prison, at the current site of the Sokha Angkor Hotel [1].

As a legal assistant to Civil Party Lawyer and the next generation after the Khmer Rouge regime, I am interested in researching the Khmer rouge history and some effects of that regime till today. Along the street, especially around the market and some tourism sites, I always meet beggars. There are reasons that persuade them to beg. Khmer rouge regime is one part of those reasons. Some people are lucky to be born in the good family which doesn’t suffer much from that regime. Comparing to some people (beggars), I am blessed. 🙂

I hope that the Tree of Remembrance will be planted along the street and some places in Siem Reap as remembrance to the death during the Khmer rouge regime. The tree was selected because it could be considered as the life of the death and the new born life. If one hotel plants one tree, the next generation will remember the Khmer rouge regime and try to avoid it from happening again in Cambodia.  🙂

Planting a “tree of remembrance” is one of the ways that everyone is able to remember the Khmer rouge regime while protecting environment and fighting against climate change. The nature of remembrance of the Khmer rouge past will be attracting many tourists. They could not come to see only nice places in Cambodia but they could know what had happened in the past. In 10 years, those trees will contribute totally as part of “Clean City, Clean resort and Good service”.

In conclusion, I am excited to know all of you especially Ajengkol, Jun Baris and Chris Chee. I was delighted, peaceful, warm, satisfied, relieved, secure, thankful, and energetic. Even we don’t know each other for a long time still we could find a compromise and get along with each other. Thank you to BlogFestAsia for giving me a chance to express myself through this competition and to know them. 🙂

Thank you for your reading.

Chamna Mao (Jasmina Mao) 🙂

Date: Sunday, 04th November 2012

Note: You can read my friends blog through:

1.  Ajengkol: http://www.muslimah.web.id/2012/11

2. Jun Baris : http://galangpusa.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/siem-reap/

3. Chris Chee : http://famouschris.com/about-siem-reap-angkor-wat-cambodia-tips-travel-guide/


[1] Closing Order rendered by Office of the Co-investigating Judges, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC)

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2 thoughts on “My Impression on Siem Reap

  1. Pingback: Angkor Travel Guide: where to stay and what to see in Siem Reap «

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