Pao & Alessandra tasting some local rice wine

Pao & Alessandra tasting some local rice wine

Before re-visiting Angkor, we decided to bike the off-the-beaten track and explore the small villages west of Angkor around West-Baray. We enjoyed the scenery and wherever possible we stopped and talked to the locals to have a glimp of how life is in Cambodja. We first met Pao. She had a small shop along the road selling drinks, food, sigarettes, etc for the locals. Tourists were extremely rare here, although they justed lived 2 km outside Cambodja’s most touristic place, Angkor!  Pao also cultivated rice & this year was a very good year for her & her family. She had 4 children… 3 daughters of 8, 6 & 2 yrs & a son of 7 months old, Bimay. The girls were at school in Siem Reap at the time of our visited but they would be back home soon with the local school bus.

The boys Hope, Tsain & Tsuo

The boys Hope, Tsain & Tsuo

We continued our biking trip and met several other people. All were so nice & friendly and some wave at us when passing by. When we arrived at the bridge on the river, we met Hope, Tsain & Tsuno, 3 local boys who decided to join us on our biking trip. They showed us their village, the beautiful sights nearby & they sneaked us into Angkor through a narrow, hidden path just outside their small rural village. This was an amazing experience and for me this encounter was the best part about our stay in Siem Reap.

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