March 31, 2018
January 26, 2018
Our stay in Cambodia started with a few days spent in Siem Reap, which is famous for the complex of old Khmer temples very close to it. I’ll talk about the temples in the next blog post, but for now I’d like to write down some general impressions of these first few days and of our first contact with Cambodian society.
Cambodia is still recovering from the civil war and the regime of the Khmer Rouge. While I can hardly imagine anything more horrible happening to a country and its people, it seems that the Cambodians have found a way to move forward. Cambodia has one of the fastest growing economies of the countries in the region, but it’s still a very poor country. As a traveler here, your impressions are consequently divided into hope-filled “highs” (because of the all the good things that you see happening in this country and all the good you see in its lovely people), and depressing “lows”, because everywhere you look, you are reminded about the nightmare that the people here went through not so long ago.
So I’ll also just write down my thoughts in these two categories, and hope that they make sense to anyone reading them and that they raise some awareness about the situation in this country, which is so little known in the West. This time I’ll start with the “lows”, because they help put the “highs” into context.
Since I talked about tuk-tuks, I’ll also mention that it’s very common here for tourists staying in Siem Reap to take tuk-tuks to get to and around the temples. Booking a tuk-tuk together with its driver costs 15-18 USD/day, depending on whether you’re doing the small or big circuit. The driver picks you up at your hotel in the morning, and then takes you from temple to temple, always waiting outside for you. Here are some photos of tuk-tuks.