I honestly don't know how anyone could not enjoy a visit to the Angkor Silk Farm. There is a free van ride at 0930 and 1330 (first come first served) from the Artisans d'Angkor and, once you arrive, they give you a free tour of the facilities! The guide begins by talking about the life cycle of the silk worm and showing how they are raised. After that, you visit the location where they turn the silk into thread, where they dye the silk, and where the silk is being weaver into beautiful patterns, by hand. It is simply fascinating to watch them work, and amazing to find out that an entire days work only produces .5 m of a 2 m long scarf. The only thing keeping the prices affordable is the fact the workers only earn $100 a month, which for them is a very livable wage. Our tour guide, Sokhen, didn't have the best English in the world but he took the time to repeat things to make sure we understood and, more importantly, he gave us time at each location to look around, take pictures, and ask questions. The tour ends at their shop where you can buy numerous silk items at comparatively affordable prices. Everything in the shop here costs around 50% less than a similar item purchased at the Jim Thompson house in Bangkok. If you are sick of the temples and don't want to spend your day in a musty museum I would highly recommend the Artisans d'Angkor and their silk farm tour. Fascinating, authentic, and free.
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