Final Day at Siem Reap – what you can do in 2-3 hours
After exploring the tranquil Preah Khan, we headed back to the hotel to shower and have a quick breakfast. We were leaving that day and had to pack up everything. We still had about 2.5 hours before we left for the airport so we decided to head to Artisans d’Angkor to have a look at the workshops and also shop a bit. A loves to buy handicrafts from legitimate sources and wants to fill up his home with an artifact from each of his travels.
Artisans d’Angkor is located near Pub Street so we took a tuk tuk to the place and the guide described to us the various workshops in the complex that give training to physically challenged Cambodians as well as other Cambodian youth who are without jobs. The different workshops include silk weaving, wood carving, stone carving, painting and lacquering. The students are given training to create masterpieces that are used in the restoration work done at Angkor. So you could see a lot of similar sculptures as seen in the temples over the past few days. In this way, not only is restoration of old temples taking place, so also the art is preserved.
After having a look at all the workshops (you could ask the guide to explain each aspect to you individually, we preferred to go about ourselves) we headed to the main store which housed all the finished goods.. marvellous… we wanted to pick up every item but the price was slightly higher than expected – yes it costs more because its handmade and the proceeds go directly to the welfare of the students. You can have a look at their website here I do not have pictures of this place since we were not allowed to photograph inside.
After this, we wanted to get ourselves a good massage but found that most of the shops in the market area open at night when the crowd comes in, so the tuk tuk driver took us to another place near our hotel. We opted for the traditional Khmer massage cost around USD 15 for 2 of us, relaxed.. and headed back to the hotel just in time to check out and depart for the airport.
Our flight was at 3 pm local time and we reached by around 1.30 pm, checked in our baggage and immigration which took a while. The airport is quite small but from what we saw, lot of work was going on and it might look more awesome in a few months’ time we thought.
The departure lounge had a few shops and a massage centre as well, we just looked around and it was time to board and thus we headed back to our home in KL still dreaming of the mystical land… Bye Bye Siem Reap, we hope to be back once more…