The land of friendly Khmer people and home of famous Angkor temples. When I went on my very first backpacking trip last April, Cambodia was the 2nd stop of our group and it was probably the most filled one.
Cambodia isn’t really pretty at first glance. When my group entered the land through the PoiPet border and took a long land travel, all I can see in the window was either rice fields or endless dry land. As I listen to the stories of our aspiring lawyer tour guide, I quickly had an impression that it’s a struggling country. But nonetheless, they offered a lot of value to the rest of the world.
We stayed in Bou Savvy Guesthouse in Siem Reap. I like that the place had lots of plants around to somewhat ease the awful heat. But the downside is there were a lot of mosquitoes too especially at night. Bou Savvy also serve food, and yes Cambodia loves their veggies.
Just a tip, a trip to the museum would also be nice before you start the Angkor tour so you’d have an intro of the Angkor history. After the museum go to the opposite side of the town where the Pub street is and where the food and night happenings are. Oh yeah don’t forget to try their famous Amok fish dish. Right at the end of the street is the night market. Scarves of course are the specialty of Cambodia. And the best part, you can haggle.
Unfortunately, the night before we’ll have our Angkor tour, rain poured down. It’s really frustrating cause there goes our sunrise and sunset shots of Angkor. But the good thing is we were still able to go around when the rain stopped.
Cambodia is a mix of hinduism and buddhism, and the whole Angkor is inspired of this belief. There were times that the images really creep me out but the workmanship of all the temples is absolutely amazing. By the way, the Angkor complex has more than 200 temples so it’s better to bring water and hat when going around. For big groups I suggest renting a tour bus but for smaller ones you can go for an adventure and hop on a motorbike.
After Siem Reap we took a couple of hours bus travel to the capital city Phnom Penh. We stayed overnight at the Khmer Royal hotel along Sisowath road which reminds me a lot about Baywalk Roxas Boulevard. It’s a short stay at the city but learned a lot about the Cambodian history. We went to Tuol Sleng genocide museum and everything we saw, heard and read really broke our hearts. It’s a kind of tragedy that should teach all of us to appreciate our freedom and the good life we have now.
So why should Cambodia be on your next itinerary? Because of the great Angkor find and the social historical enlightenment.