Thursday, June 2, 2011

Siem Reap - Cambodia Culture Village

So far, our Cambodia trip has been nothing but fun. Our first day was spent on the bustling capital of Phnom Penh (part 1 and part 2) while the second day was on Siem Reap and the magnificent Angkor Wat (part 1 and part 2). Now on to our third day. 

After our breakfast, we headed to the Cambodian Cultural Village, a cultural park where you can experience all things Cambodian. You get to enjoy and witness the traditional Khmer wedding ceremony, some performances of different ethnics of Cambodians. All in all, it is an all day event with a grand theatrical performance of the story of King Jayavaraman VII at night.

Main entrance

When all of us heading for the adventures
Something you'll notice at the entrance
The first two stops were the museums. I'm not exactly sure what is the first museum about but it is about the past of Cambodia during its glory, that is the Khmer civilization. The second museum is the wax museum, showcasing the important figures in Cambodia history. 

We have the King Jayavaraman VII... the recent king and queen of Cambodia,...

...figurines showcasing the traditional dances... models wearing traditional ethnic outfits and modern cloths.


Truly an enlightening tour. After that, we continued with our adventure with Khmer wedding. Mr Wong 'volunteered' himself to take part in the wedding by being the groom. Khmer wedding back then lasted for seven days and slowly shortened the duration to a five-day, three-day and now, one day event. Some snapshots of the ceremony.

See how happy the groom was...

The ceremony was under the guidance of a man who acted like the priest in a Christian wedding, I would say.  He narrated(?) the whole ceremony, guiding the 'newlyweds' on what to do and all. Actually, I have a video on the ceremony but am unable to upload it due to super duper slow and unsteady speed. Anyhow, will try again on future post.

Curtain call for the whole cast

Newlywed shot

After the part 1 of the wedding (yes, there's a second part), we went to explore the place and point-aim-shots non stop as the next performance wasn't due before few hours later. And lunch, of course.

Reliving sweet childhood

'You snap me, I snap you' 

Incomplete group shot

When it's time again for the next performance, we went to the venue and enjoyed ourselves. Each performances were about 30 minutes long with the time lapse between each performance is about 10 minutes. Furthermore, all of it were held at different venues so we have to walk fast to reach the next stop on time. Luckily, all those places are within walking distances and very near. Here are some of the snapshots of those performances. Again, there're videos to some of it but... Next time.


When the second last performance was over, there was a break for dinner I guess but we were quite full from the snacks we had during those performances. We went to the miniature park for another round of photo taking. Miniature park is where all those monuments in Cambodia were shrunk to human-size mode and it is like you can tour around Cambodia without actually travelling around the country itself.

With miniature Independence Monument

After that, our last big grand performance. The story of King Jayavaraman VII. By this time, my camera was already running out of battery so I didn't really shot any videos of this performance. 

A scene from the play

One thing about this Cambodian Cultural Village is that all the performances were performed by the same bunch of actors. These multi-talented performers are truly amazing in their roles. Even though all of it were in their native language and most of us were unable to understand what they were saying, we did understand the overall storyline. And after dinner, we bade goodbye to the country.

Sharing is caring. A word of advice and a piece of information.

Entrance fee for the Cambodian Cultural Village is 11 USD for foreigners. While it is no doubt entertaining and informative, if you were without guides and not too into cultural exhibitions, you will most likely find it a tad bit boring and after a while, repetitive. Anyhow, do stay till the end for the grand theater performance for it is this piece that is truly amazing in all kind of level. 

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