The Children of Cambodia: Angkor Kids

The Children of
Angkor Kids

The ancient ruins of Angkor cover an area larger than Washington DC. Wherever you go, you'll find lots of kids hanging out: some of them sell souvenirs, others will be your guide, and still others just like to use the ruins as a giant amusement park. And because the local children attend school in either the early morning or late afternoon, you're sure to see many of them when they're not in the classroom.

Above Picture: This young man was a resident guide at Angkor Wat. We'd see him each time we passed through the temple's main gate, along the stone causeway.

s Say hello to Da. (or Ta if you prefer - in Khmer, it was pronounced somewhere between a D and a T sound) He gave us a tour of Banteay Kdei, a 12th century temple built by Khmer King Jayavarman VII. Da said he was 17 years old; we have our doubts, though...

High inside the inner sanctum of the Angkor Wat temple, three kids spent hours in the shade playing a game of pickup sticks, using incense as a substitute for regular sticks. s

s Two sisters, part one. These Khmer girls were visiting Angkor with their parents and grandmother. The younger girl made a game of running up to Andy and yelling "Johm riab sua!" ("hello!" in Khmer). Andy did his best to keep up with the fun.

Two sisters, part two. These girls (we think they're sisters) were standing around the corner from the other sisters. The stone they're leaning against is actually grey, but it glows from the heavy orange rays of the setting sun. s

s The Sunset Gang. As the sun set over Angkor, we climbed Phnom Bakheng, a large hill to the west of Angkor Wat. There we met three boys and a girl - they were some of the most photogenic kids we've ever photographed. Here's a picture of the three boys: Lee, Hing and Phaeng. You can also listen to the Sunset Gang at play if you have RealAudio.

Suan didn't seem to mind being the only girl in this gang of four. She certainly had a great smile. s

s Hing. By far, the biggest ham of the group.

Does this kid enjoy the spotlight or what? s

s Lee was a very strange kid. He always seemed to have this mischievous glare in his eyes. He was a lot of fun, though.

Lee finally chills out a bit. Gotta love that collar. s

s Andy joins the kids for a group photo.

Susanne's turn. One of our last photos before the sun sank below the horizon. s

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