Cambodia: Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and the Tonle Sap

by John Lander, Dec 9, 2008 | Destinations: Cambodia
Cambodian Apsara Dancer

Cambodian Apsara Dancer

Cambodian Apsara Dancer
Tonle Sap River, Cambodia
Net Fishing on the Tonle Sap
Silk Loom at Artisans d'Angkor

Cambodia is more than about Angkor Wat.  For one, the Tonle Sap Lake and river is one of Asia's most interesting waterways.  A tributary of the Mekong, it floods and recedes with the seasons, providing food for both animals and people along its shores.  During the rainy season, when it reaches higher water levels, the locals take to their boats and create floating markets and floating villages.  During dry months, they move back to their stilt homes.  

Elsewhere in Siem Reap, Cambodian artists and artisans are making a comeback and not just carving stone for Angkor Wat.  Artisans d'Angkor is a non-profit NGO that not only trains young Cambodians for a career but the enterprise is doing so well that it hires them after their training.  Cambodian dance is another area that has regained popularity among Cambodians, including Apsara dance and shadow puppet theatre.