This morning was a nice lazy morning just relaxing and reading beside the pool.
After a while (30 minutes, I got bored!) I went for a walk to get some water. It cost me 2,000 Cambodian riel, which equates to GBP£0.31 a price I can handle. The hotel charges US$2.00!
You maybe asking why ‘relaxing by the poo’ – I uploaded a picture to Facebook.com/Ggholidays and nobody questioned poo?! Do people just want to like things without questioning? – update my cousin Appay Plaha picked up on this!
In the afternoon we went for a late lunch to
Street 26 off River Road,
From Old Market, cross the bridge and turn left,
follow the river and turn right at the second street.
T: +855 063 965210 | +855 092 177127
The tuk tuk that took us to the restaurant (tuk tuk took – rhymes! Well it made me chuckle!)
As soon as we entered we met a fellow Sikh. His name is Gursewa Singh. He arrived yesterday from Phnom Penh. His parents were from Kenya and now they all reside in London.
We ordered our drinks which were very tasty and the food came quite a while later. By the time it had come I was starving. There was no doubt how fresh and good the meals tasted.
Some info on the cafe
Peace Cafe, nurturing body and soul
Peace Cafe provides fresh healthy vegetarian food, a bakery and a fair trade shop. Just 5 minutes from Siem Reap’s Old Market, a hassle free oasis of tranquility with a beautiful spacious garden.
For an even deeper experience of peace, welcome to the Meditation Hut, located in a secluded corner of the garden surrounded by song birds. Relax and enjoy a dinner under the stars with traditional Cambodian chapei music on Thursday evenings or join the kids for a dance on Saturday nights or bring your own kids to enjoy the swings, a sand pit and values-based board games.
Community programs available include meditation, yoga, pilates, monk chat.
Afterwards we had a wander to Pub Street.
The street and market was very lively the pubs/restaurants were crowded, the beggars were having a field day from the tourists.
For you who like to give to the beggars here is something you should read
It seems so natural and harmless, and resistance feels so callous and cruel, to give to the kids that fill the streets of Siem Reap selling books, postcards, flowers and jewellery, or sometimes just begging for money. They are poor, they’re clearly in need, and they’re so full of fun and banter that it’s impossible to say no.
School’s out — permanently.
It’s tough even for those who know that giving to street kids actually locks them into the cycle of poverty they’re trapped in. And make no mistake, there is no such thing as a harmless dollar when it’s pressed into a small hand on the streets of any town in a developing country. This may seem harsh, as after all a dollar will surely get them and their family a meal for the day, which they clearly seem to need, or will pay for the kid to go to school and that can’t be bad at all, can it?
The unfortunate truth is that yes it is bad. Put brutally, the only person helped in this transaction is the visitor who gets to feel virtuous for a while, believing they have done something to resist this dreadful poverty they can see all around them. It’s a completely human and understandable response, it doesn’t make anyone a bad person, but it’s still wrong and here’s why.
Sleeve licking is the new black.
Giving to street kids is a short-term solution that ensures that long-term answers are more difficult to implement. It helps to ensure that they stay poor for the rest of their lives and, as uneducated parents, means that their children will probably be just as poor too. It ensures a thriving labour market for young children who should not be working, many of whom are not from Siem Reap at all but brought in from other provinces to work the streets. Worse yet, working on the streets not only impairs their education, it exposes these children to predators: traffickers, drug dealers and child sex tourists.
There are a number of reputable charities in Siem Reap that work with street children, ensuring that they go to school, providing additional schooling for them, giving them an arts education, supporting their families and generally working very hard to ensure the children in their care have the power to shape their own destinies.
Smiles all round.
Sam Flint, the director of the shelter Anjali, says that when travellers give to street kids, it makes his job that much harder to do. “Giving to street kids jeopardises their future, and it’s difficult for an organisation to offset the attraction for parents to send their kids out to the streets”.
His organisation provides each family that takes their kids off the street and enrols them in the programme with rice every month, to balance out some of the lost income. But every dollar that a tourist gives deprives the parents of an incentive to make sure their kids go to school and get a proper education, which includes not being too tired to study.
Flint continues, “Yes, these are low income families, but there are alternatives. Not giving money to street kids however cuts out the easy option”.
It’s not all gloomy: there are ways that visitors can help kids without sustaining a system that exploits them and deprives them of a future. Several organisations are registered with an NGO called Concert Cambodia, which imposes strict accountability and accounting standards on members. They can advise you on ways to support organisations, and which ones are safe to give to and which not. They can also help you with volunteering options too.”
Taken from http://www.travelfish.org/blogs/cambodia/2011/06/03/why-giving-money-to-street-kids-is-a-really-terrible-idea/
So it may seem harsh but best not to give.
On the way to Pub Street
Sangeet bought some Cambodian trousers at the market.
After a wander we headed over to the night market. Angkor Night Market established in 2007, was the first night market to open in Cambodia. The market founders were careful not to create a tourist park. Instead of warehouse-liked setting as in often case, you will find smoothly laid out huts built from natural materials and designed beautifully in Khmer style. Over the years, we have 240 souvenirs shops which sells traditional Cambodian made handicrafts from clothing’s, silk, painting and photography’s, jewelries, wood and stone carvings. After a tiring shopping you can pamper yourselves with our original Dr. Fish massage, Body and Feet massage, spa or relax at our two bars. The Island bar with its impressive bamboo tower and tiered lamp which you cannot see in any other bars here in Siem Reap, Cambodia or the secluded Brick House bar with its thatched roof and large bamboo furniture’s blend a relaxed stylishness surrounded by a tropical garden. We also have a food court which offers Cambodian, Western, Asian Cuisine, Cafe Puka Puka with its milk snow ice and try our many varieties of shisha flavors at Shisha bar. Angkor Night Market, a place for you to shop & dine in a vibrant contemporary Khmer environment. At the night market Sangeet bought a gift.
Afterwards we got a tuk tuk back to the hotel.