“The fate of Cambodia shocked the world when the radical communist Khmer Rouge under their leader Pol Pot seized power in 1975 after years of guerrilla warfare. An estimated 1.7 million Cambodians died during the next three years, many from exhaustion or starvation. Others were tortured and executed. Today, Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world and relies heavily on aid. Foreign donors have urged the government to clamp down on pervasive corruption.” – BBC News
BBC’s description of Cambodia doesn’t exactly motivate you to 86 your trip to Hawaii and jump on the first thing smoking to Siem Reap. But thankfully, unless it’s on the back of a cereal box or is accompanied by cartoon illustrations, I find reading quite draining. So we never got BBC’s rundown of the recovering country. Not that it would have deterred us from making the trip anyway. Discouraging perceptions of a country certainly didn’t stop us from visiting Colombia. We actually found it amusing to watch people’s expressions when we told them we planned to start our trip with a hike through the Darién Gap. For those that are not familiar with the Darien Gap, it’s a place that helps us weed out society’s mentally challenged backpackers. Side Note: Did you know the FARC has an 800 number? I guess that makes it easier for parents to ring them up and tell the kidnappers they can keep Corky, he’s not worth the million dollars.
Despite Cambodia’s difficult and recent past, the corruption of its government, and its economical struggles, the country’s people have to be the most genuine in the south-east Asia region. We got more smiles, greetings, and general friendliness than Thailand and Laos combined. Sure they have hawkers that never quit and the tuk tuk drivers have the same moral compass as Jeffrey Skilling. But what country doesn’t have their problems?
Khmer food is an awesome genre of Asian cuisine. We found Amok and Lok Lak at the top of our list. Cambodia also houses the best variety and quality of Western dishes in south-east Asia. Which worked out perfectly because we were becoming a little tired of rice, noodles, and fried dishes.
Top Rated For The Trip:
Cycling around the temples of Angkor Wat was awesome experience. Not only because the temples were amazing, but not having to involve ourselves with hired transport was extremely refreshing. Though the post may not emphasize it, we also enjoyed our beach time in Sihanoukville.