Cambodia trip report



War, famine and fear kept outsiders well away from Cambodia right up until 1999. But change has come fast, and Cambodia is now firmly established in the tourist trail.


Angkor Wat

After being lost in the heart of Cambodia's jungle for many centuries, the massive Angkor complex contains the remains of capitals of the Khmer Empire, which controlled most of Southeast Asia at its peak. There's countless temples, after the 5th one they will all start to look similar so to avoid "temple fatigue", just focus on the top 3 namely: Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, and Angkor Thom.


Floating villages

Less than an hour out of Siem Reap is Tonlé Sap, a large freshwater lake home to entire villages built on stilts. Houses are erected on rafts that can be towed to different areas depending on water levels. Visits to the village usually were done via "government" tourist boats costing $20, but I convinced a local fisherman to take me on his boat for the same price. I had to argue with a lot of people, who were not happy that I go on a fisherman boat instead of the tourist one. But at least that way I knew the money would end up with the poor fisherman as opposed to corrupt government louts. I shared the boat with the fisherman's grandma and his two kids, they gave me a tour of the lake and took us to see his house in the village.


Cambodian wedding

While in a Siem Reap, I got invited to a Cambodian wedding, I did not really understand the ceremony but the outfits were very snazzy.


Siem Reap

Siem Reap mostly exists to house tourists who come to visit Angkor Wat. There's a night market with various Apsara dance shows (traditional Cambodian dance), and there's a very lively street called Pub Street.