Cambodia had a lot to recommend it. Regardless of what’s in the guide books, here’s what we enjoyed and remember the most – now that we’re two months removed:
- Being rich! From being able to get so many massages to paying $15 for medical care that would have cost thousands back home <link coming>, everything made B feel like a millionaire.
- How nice the people are. When they’re in traffic, if someone cuts them off, they shrug it off and move on. When they ask if you want a tuk tuk (cab), and you say no, they still smile at you. Plenty of people helped us, too, like the older woman who had her granddaughter take us to a remote temple we wanted to visit.
- Cambodian traffic. <link coming> When you first see it, it appears completely chaotic, and it seems impossible that it could ever work. Many types of vehicles share the road, most people lack driving licenses, there are very few traffic lights, there are lots of loose items on vehicles, police presence is scant, many roads are only one lane wide, and so many more potential issues. But Cambodians make it work – by going when they can, not getting upset, following informal social conventions, learning to drive at a young age, and more. The traffic is actually likely more efficient than in the US!
- Being able to have a massage and a coconut or shake whenever I wanted! So, pretty much like B’s #1: being (comparatively) rich.
- Watching the people and the countryside outside of cities. Counting all of our trips from city to city, we sat in buses or passenger vans for 30 hours. I spent a lot of that time staring out window, seeing kids playing and people helping each other and weddings and livestock and temples. And riding a moto through the country was equally fascinating for me. Cambodia is an excellent place to people- and culture-watch.
- Certain details about the Killing Fields are so gruesome that they’re hard to ever forget. It’s a full-on mass genocide that happened just before we were born and that was mostly unknown while it was happening.