Archive for January, 2010

Artisans at work in Siem Reap

Thursday, January 7th, 2010
Woodwork carving requires a steady hand

Woodwork carving requires a steady hand

If you haven’t visited the Angkor Silk Farm at Puok, some 16kms west of Siem Reap, we recommend you do it now. Hanuman can take you on a guided tour, provided by Artisans d’Angkor, through the silk-making process step by step, from the cultivation of mulberry trees that feed the silkworms, to removing the silk thread from the cocoons and then the natural dyeing and weaving of the silk into the gorgeous end products you can see for sale in their shop outlets. They even have a silk museum, shop and cafe on-site. We’ll also take you to the Artisans d’Angkor Chantiers-Ecoles craft workshops in the middle of Siem Reap where you can see master craftsmen at work with stone, metal, wood, lacquer and silk painting. You’ve all seen the artistry in the boutiques and shops, so take a step back and see the process from the beginning, to fully understand the craftsmanship that goes into the final product. Artisans d’Angkor now employ over 1,000 Cambodian staff and are a major success story, so come and see for yourself. The tour makes a very interesting diversion from your exploration of the Angkor temples – please contact us for more information.

A step nearer the Gods – Angkor Wat re-opens

Thursday, January 7th, 2010
The stairway to the top of Angkor Wat

The stairway to the top of Angkor Wat

News just in. Visitor access to the top level of Angkor Wat will begin again on 15 January 2010. The Apsara Authority (AA) have announced that access will be strictly limited to 100 people at any one time and they will be closely monitored by AA staff with visits lasting only 20 or 30 minutes max. There are other restrictions like no under-12s, you must dress respectfully, only English-speaking guides will be allowed and so on. This access will be for 1 month to assess how the management control of visitors is working. Access to the top level of Angkor Wat, the area is known as Bakan, has been out of bounds for visitors since October 2007 and during that time restoration efforts by Khmer, German and Italian teams have been on-going. Their work will soon be seen again by the lucky ones who are prepared to queue for access to the top. In the 12th century, when the temple was constructed, only the King and his highest-ranking officials were allowed access to the upper level and the steps were particularly steep to emphasize the fact that the location was the closest you could get to the Gods.