Amazing trip, beautiful country. Shocking how folks there still have their sense of humanity after the shit they’ve been through. Ours is gone and we don’t even have a reason for it (Wait till they get tired of the tourists when they start coming in mass…)! I’m just not used to seeing so many people smiling.
Corporate mentality hasn’t reach the country (yet) meaning that you can observe a lot of liberties that no longer exist in the west (no regulation, health and safety, no suit in court, etc…) like on the road for example.
Cambodia is only 35years away from Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime were the people was reduced to literal slavery labouring over 18 hours a day in the fields with no rights to do, write or say anything whatsoever. The new generation seems to be overcoming this once life of having nothing with the welcoming of western consuming behaviour.
Amazing landscape though you can see the illegal loggings (more info here) is becoming a problem there. The big cities have already been contaminated by capitalism and the contrast with the countryside is huge (people living naked in shacks as opposed to concrete housing and Khmer women dressing like Irish girls on a night out in Falaraki only tackier). They do have some serious issues with sanitation (garbage everywhere, no draining system in the countryside) which has become part of the scenery in Cambodia.
The most impressive part of the country has to be its temples. The carvings are amazingly detailed and most buildings are based on sacred geometry and built in relation to the cardinal points or the stars. Many have remained relatively intact after a good thousand of years which makes one wonder if ancient civilisations were that primitive!
Definitely recommend it NOW while the country side is still a country side with gorgeous landscapes!