Activities in Siem Reap

On Sunday the 13th, we woke up and got a tuk-tuk from the entrance to our hotel ‘Mango Rain’. The tuk-tuks all have the names of the driver written on the side. The driver we got was called Mr Dhat and we used him lots of times while we were in Siem Reap/Angkor Wat.

He took us to the Angkor Wat museum so we could learn about what we were going to see over the next 3 days. Only Mum and Dad were looking forward to the museum but Cara, Piran and I had been promised to go to the ‘Royal Archery Club’ if we were good at the museum.

When we got to the museum we all jumped out and walked towards the entrance. Inside there was a spiral slope which we walked up so we could go to the first room.

The first room was a large one with 1000 Buddha statues in but I didn’t think it was very interesting. I thought most of the museum was boring but some of it was fun like the lingas, which represent a boys phallus. They have a square on the bottom, a octagon in the middle and a cylinder on the top. We saw lots of lingas while we were looking around temples.
When we were nearly at the end we found a board that had all of the 9 kings from Cambodia during the time when Angkor Wat was built. We found the king who built it was called king Suryavarman II. In the length of 400 years (during the ancient Khmer kingdom) those 9 kings built over 60 temples all really near to each other! Before we had left Mango Rain, Mum had made a worksheet for us to fill out and that was one of the questions so we stopped to put it on. After that we finished, got an ice cream, had lunch and went to archery.

At archery we were told to put on the gear that we needed on for shooting. There was a greave, a little bit of leather you put on your finger to stop it rubbing and a belt with your arrows in. After we had put all of it on, we were given a bow and mine was taller than me! One of the staff told me how to fire the arrows and soon I was starting to shoot.

I started on a 5 metre target and I worked my way up to the 25 metres which was furthest away. There were also rubber animals that you could shoot and I got all of them. There was a crocodile, a skunk, a dinosaur, a grizzly bear, a black bear and a leopard. It was really fun and I loved the archery especially the shooting the animals. At the end we asked if we could have a go with a proper Khmer bow and arrow. They said yes so we were given one and 3 really sharp arrows. We then started shooting and I was the best at them so I was happy.

We enjoyed it so much that Dad, Piran and I went again 6 days later. When we went again we had a competition to see who was best at the modern bow and that was Piran so we called him ‘modern master ‘ and then I won at Khmer so I was called ‘Khmer king’!

On Wednesday we did a pottery class that was run by people who couldn’t talk or hear so they had to mime it. We got a tuk-tuk there because it was on the other side of town. When we got there Mum, Cara, Piran and I sat down but Dad didn’t do it because it was expensive. We were showed how to make the pots and then we did it ourselves. We had a pottery wheel that we used for making the pots, plates, vases, cups and bowls.
Here are the steps for making a pottery cup:

  1. First you get your clay and roll it into a ball
  2. Next you hit it hard onto the centre of your wheel and start turning it
  3. Then you hold your hands tightly around the clay to make it go into a cylinder
  4. After that you stick both thumbs into the top so you make it have a hole
  5. Next you make the wall thin but not that much otherwise it could break
  6. Then you get some string and cut off the top of the cup to make it flat
  7. After that you stop turning the wheel and cut off the pot (because it will have stuck on the wheel) using the string
  8. Finally you can decorate it if you want

I thought that pottery had been really fun and I would have loved to do it again.
Siem Reap was our last place while travelling. I didn’t really like Siem Reap because of all of the noise and the temples but there were some fun things around to do and we were in a really nice hotel with a swimming pool. Although I didn’t like the city, I was happy because we would be going home in a few days and we got to do archery and pottery and we got to go to the circus. I felt both happy and sad in our final week of travelling because I was looking forward to seeing my friends and family again but I was going to miss doing so many fun activities.

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