Siem Reap Day 3: Silk Farm and Chong Kneas Floating Village Tour (SCAMbodia???)

Silk Farm 

Entrance Fee: Free

How to get there? Hire a tuktuk for a day

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What can you do there?

  1. Know the step by step process of making silk 24843214591_bd4763b58a_k24910257296_b6ad763591_k

  2. Buy silk products 24910208986_85afe72cee_k
  3. See the Silk Museum 24843357471_5e06521c6a_k24309694343_d3abc5874b_k

Do I recommend it?

Yes if you are into cultural stuff. I really love going to museums and seeing how things are made therefore I really enjoyed the Silk farm. What’s nice about my experience was that we had a tour guide that spoke in good English thus we appreciated it. Like I said, you do not have to pay for anything but make sure to give the tour guide tip.

Chong Kneas Floating Village Tour  (SCAMbodia?) 

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Looks nice on pictures but it was really horrible!
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The boats we used
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Not worth 18 USD!

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Price: 18 USD

How to get there? Hire a tuktuk for a day

My SCAMbodia story:

This will be a lengthy one so brace yourselves.

We were choosing what tour to do on our third day and we stumbled upon the floating village tour— it looked interesting. The person in the hotel even recommended it to us and gave us a discount that instead of paying 20 USD, we would pay 18 USD each. We hired a tuktuk driver for a day for 25 USD. He first brought us to the silk farm, a restaurant for lunch, and then lastly, the floating village.

I really expected a lot because of the pictures from the brochure. We were supposed to do the “floating village tour with the buffet at sunset” but it was too expensive thus we just did the ordinary one. I really had high expectations but when we arrived at the pier I was surprised to see that the boat wasn’t nice at all. It looked old and it isn’t something worth 18 USD per head.

So anyway, we rode the boat (Bangka) and we saw nothing but trees going to the floating village. There was no view and the water was dirty. In addition it was really smelly. It wasn’t what I saw in the brochure. It wasn’t what I expected. Once we arrived at the floating village I said to myself, “IS THIS REALLY IT?” 24818471582_6cdf67f551_k

What was supposedly a tour became an IMMERSION. And this is what happened… Our tour guide spoke in English and he was telling us about the lives of the people—they don’t live comfortably and are not able to eat well. Poverty was evident which made me feel sad.

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Our tour guide brought us to this store that sold sacks of rice for 50 USD
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There was a little kid on the hammock in the store

So after explaining everything and telling us more sad stories about the people from the village he brought us to this place that sold rice, candies, and other types of food. The tour guide told us, “we will visit a school with children and it would be nice if you buy them a sack of rice worth 50 USD. Don’t buy them candy because it’s bad for their teeth.” I found the tour guide and the vendor really sketchy because they kept telling us about the children being orphans and how badly they needed the rice. They wanted our sympathy.  I didn’t want to buy the rice because I found it too expensive and I didn’t have a lot of money with me. But my sister’s boyfriend ended up buying the sack of rice out of pity and because he really wanted to help the children in the school. We all gave him an amount for the rice because we wanted to help as well even if I found it sketchy. I just shrugged off my negative thoughts about the whole situation.

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The School
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Full of Orphans according to the tour guide

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When we arrived in the school, we were welcomed by a lot of cute children. Again, our tour guide kept telling us about the orphans’ sad life—they sleep on the floor, don’t get to eat properly, and the like. He even introduced us to the teacher. The teacher looked surprisingly healthy. He looked like he was not deprived of food. Even the children! They didn’t look malnourished and they even had school supplies. I enjoyed being with the kids but it seemed like they were there for show. There were no classes happening and all of them were running around and playing. I felt that there was something very odd about the tour. After giving our sack of rice, we left and went to the “crocodile farm” which was part of the tour.

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Not the best sunset

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So this was the crocodile farm??? What the hell???

24910178336_7c21a78084_kI really expected a lot and sadly it wasn’t a farm. There was just a cage with a crocodile. We waited for the sunset but it was cloudy thus we weren’t able to see it. When we went back to the pier, our tour guide demanded for a 10 USD tip. I was really pissed because we paid for so much already and I was disappointed because it wasn’t what I expected. We ended up giving him 5 USD tip.

After the tour, my boyfriend and I talked to each other about our experiences. To be honest, we felt robbed. We should have read tripadvisor first before doing the tour. Most of the experiences of people were terrible. The reviews were really bad and I was right that there was something fishy about it. I strongly believe that it was a scam. I don’t think that the price of the tour should be that expensive. In addition, the tour guides shouldn’t put people on the spot by telling them to buy a sack of rice worth 50 USD.

I just hope that we were really able to help those children and that the rice really went to them.

I posted about it on instagram and my friend who recently went to Cambodia told me that her hotel did not recommend this tour because it was a scam. If my thoughts are really true about this then the government should stop the operations. Why do they have to drag children to participate in such act? DO NOT GO ON THIS TOUR AND SAVE YOUR MONEY FOR SOMETHING BETTER!!!!!!!!

 

Do I recommend it?

NO NO NO NO NO. I was really sad that I didn’t get to check tripadvisor before doing it. The reason why I didn’t enjoy was because it was really expensive and it wasn’t what I expected. In addition, our tour guide put us on the spot by making us buy a ridiculously expensive sack of rice. DO SOMETHING ELSE! SAVE YOUR MONEY!!! HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE! Corruption at its finest! On the brighter side, I learned a lot after experiencing a scam for the very first time.

Tips:

  1. Do not trust brochures make sure you read the reviews on Tripadvisor first before doing your tours
  2. Do your research so that you know what to expect and so that you won’t waste time
  3. If your tour guide asks you to give them x amount of tip, do not follow them! Just give what you can give
  4. Go with your intuition. If you know something is strange, do not do it.
  5. DON’T DO THE FLOATING VILLAGE TOUR!

 

Cost Breakdown:

Day 3
Tuktuk for a day 7 each (4 people)
Lunch 10
Rice for poor 13 each (4 people)
Tip 5
Floating Village Tour 18
Dinner 6
Total in USD 59 USD

 

 

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