The Artisan silk factory conserves the Cambodian tradition of silk manufacturing. The guided tour for free leads us to a fantastic shop full of silk fabrics. We just learnt that it takes 30 minutes to turn 80 Kokons in a 6 meter string wild silk, drilled to one thread. You need 2000 of these threads to weave a scarf. A silk worker, mainly illiterate women from the country, get payed $ 200 to $ 300 monthly salary including 18 days holiday per year and free weekends. Artisan pays fair wages.
A delicious ice-cream and a short visit of the Western Baray, a huge lake from old Angkor times, created by hand, leaves everyone tired back home in our paradise Babel. We eat out and try to sleep early, because the alarm is set for 4.15am to get depart for 4.30am for the early Sunrise Angkor Wat Temple Tour.
Although the weather forecast warned with 90 percent of rain, we believed in our dear Norwegian host that if it rains the night before it will very likely be dry and sunny. We are blessed arriving in our 4 Tuk-Tuks dry and even experienced the sunrise at Angkor Wat Temple safe and with less tourists than usually. The colourful umbrellas, mostly of the Chinese give a picturesque new touch we as regular visitors (6 Volunteer-Teams on tour to the Temples) enjoying. Very sadly the rain starts as predicted with 100 percent and puts the visit to a sudden stop. Some of us got wet to the skin. A breakfast in a restaurant tent did give only little relief. We decided to go home and were back at 9am. Everyone was on a second sleep, some long, some short. As we purchased a day ticket for Angkor and the rain stopped at lunchtime, a group of four at 2pm hits the road again to Angkor to visit the famous temples Bayonne and Ta Prohm, everyone knows from Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie.
The Angkor Temples area consists of 1000 temples spread over an area of 200 square km. 50 Temples are unpeeled of the rainforest, who covered most of them until a French guy around 1876 discovered the first one. It was Angkor Wat. All temples are a relict of former Kingdom of the Angkor between 800 and 15 century, being at that time three times bigger than Cambodia. The well-known Angkor Wat Temple was built around 11 century. Over 1 Mio. people lived there, in houses made of clay and wood already disappeared in the jungle again, on a very highly advanced water system, all digged by hand. There was enough rice for 1 Mio people. They left their world because of climate change that damaged their irrigation system badly.
The Cambodians are very proud of the Angkor Temples. It is everybody’s source to regain energy and to believe in their strength and to overcome the devastating time of Pol Pot.