Flowers of Cambodia & Malaysia

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Malaysia and Cambodia


This is about my upcoming trip to Malaysia and Cambodia. The first part is pre-trip - information about flights, itineraries, accommodation and all the things that you need to do to plan an overseas holiday. This is my first trip to Asia and I hope it may help others. Comments are very welcome and anyone who has travelled to Malaysia and/or Cambodia, please feel free to comment and offer any advice or tips that you think would be helpful. As of today ( 28th February) , in exactly 11 days (minus 30 minutes) I will be in Kuala Lumpur.

I had the most amazing time and hope you enjoy reading about my trip. Each post is numbered and I'm doing them in order from start to finish - a little like a diary.



48. Artisans d'Angkor 3 - Silk Museum and Shop

The Finished Product

Above: Colours worn by Khmer Royalty for each day of the week
These are the colours worn by Khmer Royalty - a different one for each day of the week. Starting from the left, the pink was worn on Mondays, the orange of Tuesdays, the royal blue on Wednesdays, the green on Thursdays and so on. I remember thinking at the time, what a marvellous idea, you wouldn't have the problem of "What should I wear to the party?" - you'd just go with the colour of the day. An eminently suitable idea too, think how easy it makes it to match handbags and shoes!

Above: Cambodian traditional dress
As we were moving along I saw these lovely clothes which are the traditional Cambodian style of dress, although I think many people today wear a more modern style, they still retain some of the traditional styling in the way the garnents are cut.
The sampot is a lower-body, wrap around cloth and is the national garment of Cambodia. There are several variations of the sampot, each is worn according to class.
A regular sampot known as the sarong was about one and a half metres long and both ends were sewn together and tied at the waist. These were worn by men and women of lower class.

Sampot Chang Kben worn by ladies of middle and upper class, was 3 metres long and a metre wide. It was wrapped around the waist, stretching it away from the body and twisting the knot which was then pulled between the legs and held by a metal belt. Regardless of class, all Cambodian women wear the Sampot Chang Kben for special events. Men may wear it, but the traditional patterns depend on gender.

Above: Cambodian traditional Royal dress
As you can see, the clothing worn by Royalty is far different from that worn by the rest of the population. Notice the richly embroidered gold thread and the many sparkling jewels sewn on. Lovely though they are, you wouldn't be able to sit for long in them. And those head dresses would give you a headache and a half. They look pretty heavy to me - imagine having to wear one on your head all day. You'd be longing for nightfall just so you could get the thing off! Still, maybe the kings and queens didn't have to have them on all day.

Above: Silk Panels
I asked Bunneano if he could hold the silk panel out for me so as to get a better shot. These panels were at least 12 foot long and almost a metre wide and are woven so fine as to be almost sheer.

Above: Bed Cover
This lovely sample could be used as a bed cover and has at least seven or eight different colours running throughout. Below is a close-up.

Above: Closeup of the bed covering
Click on the photo to enlarge it and you can see the intricacy of the patterns. And it is all woven manually by hand.

Above: Framework
These were on the floor near the bed cover, I'm not sure what they are, but the vibrant colours were very striking.

I was hoping there were silk products available for sale, and yes, there is a largish shop with many lovely things. The ladies working there were very polite and friendly and didn't mind that I seemed to take forever making up my mind what to buy. I was like a child in a toy shop, there were so many, many beautiful things to choose from. I eventually settled on the gifts I would take back home with me - two coin purses, a ladies wallet, eye glasses case, two card holders, which was funny as I thought they were small rectangular coin purses!

Above: Purchases
I also bought a small evening bag which isn't shown here but was in a lovely shade of green called Anise. I had wanted a pink one but there were none left. For myself, I settled on a scarf and a handbag.

Above: Bag and scarf
I really liked two bags they were both the same but in different colours. The one I wanted was the same colour as the red striped wallet but I also liked the one in the above picture. I hummed and haa-ed over them, taking forever to make up my mind. I knew I should get the red/fuschia one because those colours suit me especially as I planned on buying a matching scarf. Yet something held me back and I ended up buying the one you see above with a blue/green scarf. The inside silk lining is more a green although it looks a bit yellowy in the photo.

The bag really looks quite elegant but I still wish I'd bought the red striped one. I wish I'd bought both bags, but like a lot of things in life, we think of these things when it's too late. The straw bag with the navy silk fabric down the middle is what the sales lady put mu purchases into. I thoguht this was a nice touch and so - I have another bag.

I couldn't get over the cost of the items - I thought they were very reasonably priced. Where would you get a hand woven silk handbag for US$49? It'd cost a lot more buying products of this calibre in western countries.

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