The other morning we hopped on motorbikes to check out the area we like in. When you travel the roads of Cambodia, it pays to look for fancy arches. They usually lead to a temple (wat) and often as not, the rural ones will have a small market as well. Markets are always a fun introduction to a place, especially when they have cooked food stalls.
About 4km to the north of us, toward the new dam, we found a lovely arch and market. We followed the narrrow red clay road a few kilometers past the market, going toward the river. The road makes a large detour around a well maintained wat. I am not sure why the wat needs such fierce guards, but I intend to find out. My Khmer language skills aren't up to that task yet. The houses around the wat were well kept, more so than we have often seen in the country. It wasn't a surprise, however, as in the village just before the wat, all the schoolchildren had been put to work picking up trash and clearing and burning dense growth. Child labor at its best. They seemed to be having quite a good time. The ice cream vendor showed up just as we were leaving to head home.