Today the volunteers got a lovely sleep in and we met at 9am for breakfast! A traditional Cambodian breakfast of vegetable noodle soup was had, which does take some getting used to. But everyone was very excited to start the day and explore Siem Reap. We began with a walking tour and meeting our local assistant Bun (pronounced Buhn) and headed down the main street and into old market. Now old market is one of the many places that the local people buy their food. Here in Cambodia the local people do not go to a supermarket like we could have their meat all nicely packaged up, they go to the market where it is butchered there and sitting on tables waiting to be bought. This does come across confronting to many but I think it is important for people to see how life really is here.
Back into the fresh air, we headed to the riverside and across the river. There is a stark difference once the Siem Reap River is crossed. The quality of living changes drastically and many shacks and houses built from scrap wood and metal can be seen. Again it is good for people to see the non-touristy part of a main city and see how the majority of people here live.
Onwards again to the temple of the monks and nuns where there a massive tombs and temple for prayer (only by the monks and nuns). There was also a Buddhist remembrance funeral (100 days after their passing) and we paid our respects to the family there. Continuing on we headed to a holy Pagoda where the girls had to cover up knees and shoulders, and under the direction of Bun were showed how to properly pray and light the incense.
By this time people were hungry and we headed to lunch! After lunch it was free time until dinner and time to explore the city and all the wonders it offers. Some chose massages, coffee shops, markets and half the group went to the floating villages (these photos will come soon).
We have also joined groups with the village development and teaching group so have expanded our new family! Dinner went down a treat s everyone mingled with the new crew at a restaurant called five sons and afterwards headed to some night markets and out to town to discover Pub Street.
Until tomorrow folks!