Believe it or not, there will come a point in your Siem Reap trip when you would rather jump into the manmade lagoon from Angkor Wat’s Rainbow Bridge than see, for the umpteenth time, Cambodia’s numero uno source of national pride.
Wondrous and stunning these centuries-old monuments may be, but if you’ve seen five of them in two, three, four days straight, the urge to run away screaming like a lunatic is a likely possibility. :D
The moment you feel the beginnings of NABT (Not Another Bloody Temple) syndrome, check out Artisans d’Angkor in Stung Thmey Street. Artisans d’Angkor is a Cambodian social business that was originally created to revive Khmer cultural heritage while helping young rural people find work near their home village.
A guide will give you a free tour of the place, which features a series of workshops that showcase Khmer workmanship—from techniques in stone and wood carving, to lacquering, silver plating and silk painting.
It’s quite fascinating seeing the process of transforming a block of wood/stone into the stunning finished pieces they sell at the souvenir shop.
If you’re artistically inclined or enjoy seeing how a fine piece of handicraft is put together, a visit here is well worth it and should be part of your Siem Reap itinerary :)