I was asked by Patricia Vance of GotSaga, an online community of travellers, to write a guest post for the website.
The task was easy. Out of the 15 countries we visited on this trip, five stood out the most.
Read the article to see which ones.
Now with 60% more explanations!
(see comments for details)
1. A motorcycle can easily carry a family of five.
2. The role of police is not to protect citizens, but the highest bidders.
why? Bribery has long been a part of Cambodian society. The police and the military have been known to kidnap and threaten citizens for cash.
3. The [...]
Adventurous travellers know that Cambodia is more than Angkor Wat and “happy” pizzas. Leave the backpacker trail and you’ll see gorgeous rural landscapes, under-explored temples, vibrant wildlife, and people who care about you beyond your wallet.
And one of the best ways to explore this country is on a motorbike, which you can rent in any city, except Siem Reap.
Bakong is part of the Roluos group of temples, a bit separated from the main cluster around Angkor Wat. As such, it gets few visitors but is no less splendid.
It was one of my favourite temples at Angkor. See full story for photo.
You go to a new country and in a few days you can make a reliable generalization. These people, they are cranky. These others, they are outgoing and festive. Those there, shy and gentle.
Cambodians stumped me. One week in and I couldn’t condense the national psyche to any nugget worth its air.
I was in a country with fast-paced cities, mind-blowing architectural aesthetics (ever seen a Khmer pagoda?) and a proud heritage of a bygone empire. But the people were a total mystery.
Massage, sir? Only $3. Lady you buy something? Silk scarf only $2. Special price for lady.
Little expenses, all so innocent on their own, but pile them together and you won’t believe you spent that much.
But how can you help yourself with so much cheap luxury?
When selling bootleg books didn’t work, the boy turned to begging for food. He looked 12 and was still perfecting his pity pitch.
After four days in Siem Reap (and another week in Sihanoukville), I got used to saying no to child sellers and beggars. I read enough articles to know giving them money does more harm than good:
A benefit of traveling off the beaten track is that when you finally visit a well-trodden place, it’s a pleasant surprise.
The annoyances of tourism – hustlers, touts, tons of restaurants and bars catering for tourists, loud drunken backpakcers – become a cultural attraction, no longer a burden.
On your rental scooter, that is. You never know what might be coming up from behind.
See full article for an intriguing picture.
Around 2 pm – shortly after breakfast – the first flyers are delivered by pretty Finnish girls with hangover sunglasses. Tonight’s specials are the same as last night’s: 25-cent beers from 9:00 to 10:00, then free vodka “buckets” from 10:00 to 10:30.
It’s monsoon season, so the many bars in Sihanoukville have to compete for few customers. If one is feeling bold, it will begin its free drinking period 10 minutes before the other one.