While I was in there I saw one of the tourist police hovering around. He eventually came up to me and said "Souvenir $20?" and held out his badge. I laughed and said no, suspecting a trap. Then later he went up to a couple of Russians, but they said they were already police and pulled another badge from their bag. He then bargained for a little bit, no trying on the Russians part, and eventually got down to $7. I think they bought it, I was just out of hearing range.
So yeah, I guess the police are quite poor and desperate to get $7 for a badge.
Also the thing I didn't know about the Angkor historical park is there are people living in villages all through it. On the island at Angkor Wat there are a couple of more modern temples in the forested area, some small houses too. I think there are people who have been living in the temples too, you occasionally stumble on bags or clothes in small hallways. Not sure if they're just there for the day or stay overnight.
There is a huge amount of local employment created for these temples. All the ticket checks, the people in green shirts doing gardening, tuk tuk drivers, and guides in the official side. On the unofficial side there are food stalls, people selling art, souvenirs, guidebooks. There's no shortage of ways to make money there. Then there is the occasional begging, but very rarely are they straight out asking for money.
Anyway, here are some more photos from around Siem Reap.
|Happy herb pizza and all its copies. This is were you get your pizza covered in... herbs.|
|Some of the housing over the river. close to central Siem Reap. It probably would have extended further downriver but was removed to make it look nicer...|
|Closer house. Sewage outlet just under where I took this photo. Also people in the houses just dump their rubbish over the edge, this is then caught in a net across the river...|
|Bike with small trailer.|
|Bike with big trailer. They often have 20 people in the back. Or large bits of metal. I wonder how often they replace clutches here?|
|Some black and white (and green) styles!|
|More black and white!|
And some reprocessed photos from the tomb raider temple: