Taken 3/22/2005

Click on the photo to enlarge it ・・・

 140 years ago , the world cultural heritage "Angkor Wat" was suddenly discovered in jungle. And Cambodia , which is associated with too miserable landmines.
 When I got off the plane at Siem Reap Airport on amazing experience awaited me ...

Japanese (日本語版)

LastUpdate 3/4/2023
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 Incredible Events at the Airport
 Car without License Plate
 Children Selling Goods
 Commoner's House
 People Living on the Lake
 A Group of Ruins that Leaves Us Speechless
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15  Photosheet No9
16  Photosheet No10
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21  Photosheet No15
22  Photosheet No16

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 The first step to Cambodia was from Siem Reap Airport. When I got off the plane and presented my passport and immigration card to the immigration inspector (female) , I wss told that there was a mistake in the entry and she corrected one part. Then , since she corrected it , I was told to pay 2US$.
 I wondered why I had to pay. However , considering that it is quite difficult to communicate with foreigners , it is trroublesome , so I paid about 2US$.
 Furthermore , when I gave 5US$ , she only gave me 2US$ in charge. When I told her that 1US$ was not enough , she gave me 1US$ with a disgusted face.
 The same thing happened when paying the airport tax at Siem Reap Airport when leaving the ccountry. The change is short of 5US$. When I told him that 5US$ was not enough , he gaveme 5US$ with a disgusted face again.
 Later , when I asked the tour guide , he said that I didn't have to pay. In the example of trouble in the guidebook , it was written that "Japanese people don't like trouble , so they pay money right away."
 The guidebook also said "Many people believe in the wrong image of the Japanese , and the Japanese are looked down upon in may ways."

From Siem Reap Airport to hotel

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 In Cambodia , we see many cars without license plates.
 Cars without license plates are said not to pay the taxes.
 Recently , the tour guide said that the crackdown on these cars without license plates has become stricter. However , the number of violating cars (cars without license plates) seen in tourist areas where there are many police officers was not small.
 There is no vehicle inspection system , and cars and motorcycles can be ridden until they stop working.
 Also , I heard that there is no limit to the number of passengers , so they can ride as many as they can.

No license plate !

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 In Cambodia , school education is free up to junior high school , but there is no compulsory education system.
 In tourist area , we often see children in the lower grades of elementary school selling things without going to school. In a feeble voice , they say "One dollar" in Japanese and come to sell. They also say "two for 5$". They followed me as far as they could until I bought.
 The picture below is of a girl on Tonle Sap Lake who skillfully manipulates a tub instead of a boat. I was taking pictures of her because she was so good and rare. Then , she approached me while riding in a tub and demanded "1US$ please".
 I handed her 1US$ and she got on the tub and proceeded on the lake toward the next tourist.
 By the way , the price of Canbodia is about 1/9 of the price of Japan.
 In other words , in Cambodia , 1US$ (about 105yen) is worth about 900 yen in Japan.

A girl on a tub boat (at Tonle Sap Lake)

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 When I left the city of Siem Reap, , where the airport is located , there were houses like the one in the photo lined up along the road. Some houses were covered with wooden boards. It is said that concrete houses are rich men's houses. But they were not almost seen.
 In a corner of a private house , I found a well provided by Japan. Next to the well stood a sign with the Japanese and Canbodian flag on it (photograph)

It is built on stilts.

A well funded by Japan

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 About 11km from Siem Reap , about 1 hour by car (it takes time because the road is bad) , there is a large lake called "Tonle Sap Lake". The size of the lake in the dry season (about 3000 ku2) is one third of the size of the lake in the rainy season (abput 9000 ku2). It is said to be "stretching lake"
 About 300 species of freshwater fish live here , and fishing has been active since ancient times , boasting one of the world's largest catches of freshwater fish. There are people living on the lake.
 During the rainy season , many houses were built along the road , which becomes the bottom of Tonle Sap Lake (top photp)
 A small boat can be seen at the riverside house connected to Tonle Sap Lake. They will go fishing to Tonle Sap Lake on this boat. (middle photo)
 Hundreds of such houses float on Tonle Sap Lake. Because they are on the water , they are cool and comfatable. (bottom photo)

Row of houses seen from the car window

Riverside house leading to Tonle Sap Lake

Houses floating on Tonle Sap Lake

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 Based in Siem Reap , where there are many hotels , the ruins of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom and so like are spread out within 10 to 15 minutes by car.
 Although it is site builts around 12th century , it is made entirely of rocks (stones) , and its enomous scale and high level of airtistry and culture are simply astonishing.
 About 14th years ago , no one never knew of its existance and it continued to sleep deep in the jungle. The khmer Kingdom , which has these ruins , was a large empire that covered most of the Indochina Peninsula and part of the Malay Peninsula , and a large agricultural Kingdom.
 I feel a tremendous gap between Camodia at that time when Angkor , which boasted the the most advanced art culture in the world , flourishing and Cambodia now.
 Angkor Thom is surrounded by walls that are 3km on a side. The wall has five gates , one of which is Nandaimon. It has a face about 3m long on all four sides (top photo).
 The tree clings to the stone like a snake and looks like a monster eating the stone (2nd photo from top).
 Three faces of Kanzeon Bodhisattva can be seen side by side (3rd photo from top)
 The walls of Angkor Wat have beautiful statues of goddesses (bottom photo).

Nandaimon (Angkor Thom)

Ta Prohm (around Angkor Thom)

Bayon (Angkor Thom)

Devatar (Angkor Wat)

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