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We fell head over heels for Cambodia – which caught us completely by surprise. This South East Asian country isn’t perfect, definitely rough around the edges. Here are our first impressions we made – for better or worse! Enjoy!
The famous temples of Angkor Wat
These are Cambodia’s greatest pride and they are resembled everywhere: on the money, on the beer, in hotel names & restaurant names, and it is the national symbol on Cambodia’s flag.
Water buffaloes as common in Cambodia as sheep are in Scotland!
Cambodians love to cycle
While it’s all about moto-scooters in neighboring Vietnam and Thailand, Cambodians cycle everywhere – between villages, in town, to get to school or to work, or to transport goods.
While we weren’t the biggest fans of the fruit whose odor is best described as ‘pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock’, Cambodians LOVE durians! The Durian is the national fruit of Cambodia and we even found an entire statue dedicated to this interesting fruit.
Monks get up late in Cambodia
We’ve seen monks receiving their alms very early in the morning in neighboring Laos (6.30am), the monks in Cambodia make their way around time much later – we usually saw them around 9.30am!
…so are cows in the streets. Cambodia’s terrible past is still ‘tangible’ everywhere you go.
Almost ¼ of the population was killed during the Khmer Rouge’s regime 1975 -1979 and there is a distinct lack of people between 45 and 65.
Sadly, Cambodia is dirty.
We see piles of garbage everywhere. People just don’t seem to realize that throwing their garbage out in front of their house means it will rot there for eternity. This is one of the most frustrating observations of Cambodia…
People in Cambodia love to wear pajamas.
Not sure why, but we saw people in PJs everywhere we went! (We are aware that these gowns are not actual PJs worn at night, but the PJs still describes them best.)
Ice is usually transported on the back of a tractor, uncovered. The ice transport stops in front of every shop / house and then cuts off as much ice as needed with a rusty old saw. More ‘Western’ places thankfully make their own ice with filtered water in house.
Cambodians love karaoke on public buses. These low-budget videos blare constantly, even on long-distance rides, and while we really, really don’t like Khmer music, we’d sing-a-long if we could…but we can not read Khmer so we are left to observe…