Smiling faces / Land mines / Angkor Temples.
Trip Start Apr 14, 2010
35Trip End Feb 16, 2011
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Poor beyond belief when you get out into the countryside, yet the people are happy and resourceful. This is very much a common theme in Asia, except that in Cambodia you really see the effect of the land mines!!! There are people of all ages (young and old) with missing limbs and stories to tell. It can be difficult not to get angry and emotional at the politics that inflicted this damage. Even today there are still many no-go areas that are still affected by land mines. And this problem is not just confined in Cambodia or SE Asia for that matter.
The Pol Pot regime has taken its toll, and the country's demographic reflects the killings not so many years ago.
The populated areas and places along main roads (if you can call them mail roads) show quite a bit of pollution, which is a shame. There is a real problem with plastic bags and packaging thrown around.
There is no doubt that the country relies on tourism. While this is evident, I experienced no problems or any kind of threats that you hear about sometimes from anyone. I find that no matter where you are, locals will always keep a curious eye on you when you are wondering local streets at night. Just keep your wits about you and go about your way.
The ancient Angkor Temples were amazing. I sent three days on a motorbike ticking off my detailed itinerary. Amazing, amazing, amazing! And I have the photos to prove it. Highly Recommended!!!