Angkor Adventures Part 2 – Artisans d’Angkor

Oct 13, 07 at 10:32 pm

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Click here for Part 1

Our first destination was this carvings school called Artisans d’Angkor. This is the place where Cambodians are given hands on training to produce fine arts and crafts which are later sold to public.

The Chantiers-Écoles de formation professionnelle, a professional training school, was founded to help young Cambodians rediscover traditional handicrafts and give them the opportunity to take part in the rebuilding process their country had undertaken. The CEFP is a public institution which was established in response to an urgent need to train disadvantaged young people with little formal education, living for the most part in rural areas, and offer them a job entry program.

Artisans d’Angkor was established as a natural offshoot of the Chantiers-Écoles project as a school-to-work transition for the young craftsmen that had been trained. The skilled artisans could thus be organized into a self-sustaining handicraft network. [Source]

Basically, we were ushered into different production rooms to witness how each craft was made.

Artisans d Angkor
Explaining how these sand stones are turned into beautiful fine crafts

Artisans d Angkor
To make it looks shiny, only bare hands can be used to rub

Oil Painting
Oil painting section

Most of the workers in oil painting section are deaf-mute. Artisans d’Angkor is certainly doing the right thing by providing necessary training to underprivileged people so that they can sustain themselves in the future. By doing that too, it is hoped that there will be more organizations and investors to come forward and help these people too.

Artisans d Angkor
Painting in progress…

And you won’t believe your eyes how detailed these crafts actually look.

Artisans d Angkor
Giving a fresh coat of paint to the lacquer ware

Artisans d Angkor
Wood carving in progress

The visit was quite fast but meaningful. We visited the crafts-selling center but did not buy any of them because we were on budget constraint. We took some photos around and probably hang around for another 15 minutes before we left.

Artisans d Angkor

Artisans d Angkor

Next up… spooky and eerie encounter at The Killing Fields Memorial.

More photos:

Siem Reap Day 1: Artisans d’Angkor

Angkor Adventures Part 1 – On Arrival and Khmer Lunch

Oct 12, 07 at 12:33 am

Sometimes, I really grateful to have AirAsia (AA) for introducing so many new unknown destinations to us Malaysians and one of them is Siem Reap. Prior to that, I had no idea where on Earth is Siem Reap and what’s good there. Little did I know that Siem Reap is actually a town of Cambodia and most importantly, UNESCO-listed Angkor Wat is located there too! I think to most of us, Angkor Wat is just a big temple with fairly good historical values and unique architectures. Well, it’s not that simple as you might think.

To start off our journey in Siem Reap, it’s best for you to know what’s behind Angkor Wat.

The Angkor Archaeological Park is home to the magnificent Khmer temple ruins of Angkor, including the legendary Angkor Wat, Bayon and dozens of other ancient ruins of the Angkorian-era (9th-13th century) Khmer Empire. The Park encompasses more than 400 square kilometers just outside Siem Reap City in northwestern Cambodia and is a World Heritage Site. [Source]

In 1992, the site was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List and was declared a World Heritage in Danger site, due to extensive damage as a result of abandonment because of war and other upheavals. [Source]

Our journey to Siem Reap was pretty smooth; no delays in flight, pretty good weather and everyone was in good mood. Except that I had high fever the night before but luckily subsided by the time we left.

On Airbus A320
The sky wasn’t that blue cuz I applied CPL filter on my lens.

Fast forward two hours later, we touched down Siem Reap International Airport. We did what most typical tourists must do; take photos with jet plane as backdrop. Hahaha.

Siem Reap Intl Airport
Everybody say cheeseeee

We were the very last batch of people to actually went into the airport as we busy cam-whore. On the side note, this terminal was just opened not very long ago and I still could see workers putting finishing touches to it.

Nevertheless, fast forward again, we met up with our guide, John, who has been waiting for quite some time under hot scorching sun and he wasted no time introducing himself and welcoming us to his homeland.

We checked into our hotel first, Nokor Phnom which is just 10 minutes drive from the airport. I tell you, Siem Reap is actually a small town and most of the places are within driving distance. Okay, back to the story again, after we checked in, we went for our very first Khmer lunch at our own expense.

Nokor Phnom Hotel Lobby
Welcome to Siem Reap, sa-wa-dee-kap…. (Huh, we’re not in Thai ler..)

We had our lunch at this restaurant called Borey Savann. It was where my fever came back and thus I did not manage to sample their dishes.

Khmer Lunch
Stir fried mixed vegetables

Khmer Lunch
Coconut amok (Khmer style curry)

Khmer Lunch
Forgot what is this cuz I was busy with Panadol… -__-”

Khmer Lunch
Some kind of spring roll, I guess

And I had this for my lunch…

Khmer Lunch
Glass noodle with minced pork in tomato

My one and only dish actually tasted quite good. I was actually more worried of my fever than the food as I afraid it will spoil the entire trip and make my friends worry. So, I tried to put up a cheerful look so everybody will actually think I’m getting better. (Friends, I’m so sorry with the mess that I brought up.)

Coming up soon… our first destination of the day.

More photos:

Siem Reap Day 1: LCC-T and Siem Reap Intl Airport

Siem Reap Day 1: Arrival and Khmer Lunch