"Krama madam? postcard sir? slip-on erosion protection shoe sucker?"
Seeing my own photo of a pair of sandals in the last post reminded me of the erosion protection shoes that some bright spark has come up with, as a way of making money, especially from those concerned with the footprint they leave behind. As the numbers of tourists visiting the Angkor complex of temples in Cambodia goes up and up, there is serious consideration being given on how to limit the damage of all these extra people to the structure of the temples, not to mention the water supply around Siem Reap to service all of those massive hotels. Sorry, I digress. The Angkor erosion shoe
idea - which has been kicking around since 2006 at least - came from a Khmer company (or are they South Korean, reports are mixed) CCK, who have devised a slip-on shoe "designed with cushy rubber material" to be worn over your normal shoe. They also say, "the shoes have been enhanced with soft-spots on the bottom, which reduce the friction and prevent various shoes such as spiky, hard-bottom material, and etc, from touching the temple floors. The shoes provide slipping-free and comfortable cushion feeling while tourists can enjoy beautiful and majestic scenery." Well, that's the sales pitch and they seem to be pushing the idea once again. I must find out how much it would cost for the erosion shoes; 100 riel sounds a suitable price. I hope to be up at Angkor again next week, I must remember to find out. There was concern when it was first announced a few years ago as the company said they would burn the used shoes after the gates to Angkor closed each evening - not exactly the footprint visitors were hoping to leave behind.