A number of the Angkor Temples have long walk ways through an initial walled entrance and across gardens before getting to the main part of the temple. These walk ways were often flooded with locals trying to sell trinkets, silks and paintings. Generally Kerrie gave in when it came to the silks buying many scarfs for presents to relatives while for me it was the paintings.
My favourite were the rubbings made from the carvings. The Hindu story in the video, as told by one of these local artists, was of Ravana who kidnapped Rama’s wife Sita. Purchasing the rubbing was worth it for the story.
Also along many of these walkways were bands, playing local music and made up of Landmine victims who have lost limbs. Although you will not end up buying a CD from each one, please make sure you give a small donation.
One of the most emotional moments for me was when I was approach by one guy in his thirties. He had lost both his arms to a Landmine and was trying to support his family selling books. He refused to take a donation from me and would only take money if I brought a book – which I did on the history of Cambodia. He was wearing an Australian cap and as he had no arms I had to take the book out of a box around his waist and put my money in his shirt pocket. He was an amazingly spirited guy to talk to.