Cambodia-Travelogue :inconsistent news from southeast asia

Catherine's Pros and Cons of Cambodia

Pro: The Mekong river

It was FAb-u-lous to sit at an outdoor cafe by the Mekong on a hot day and get the breeze off the river. It felt like we were actually on vacation (as opposed to vigorously trying to ummm... put life into perspective).

The river side cafe view. The river side cafe view.

Con: The begging

I found it very difficult to walk down the street and be asked every two minutes for money from children.
I had to keep reminding myself that every guide book and magazine says NOT to give them money as they can make more off begging than they can with a real job, which undermines the hard work of those trying to train street people to support themselves.

It was also strange to eat at restaurants which had security guards standing by to ward off anyone who might try and sell books or postcards to the "westerners".

Can you imagine that people actually EAT these cute and cuddly creatures? If only I could take him home. Can you imagine that people actually EAT these cute and cuddly creatures? If only I could take him home.

Pro: Sihanoukville beaches
Ahhhh... the beach! Not quite as big as I expected, but MUCH less crowded. On a good day, there would be about ten other people on the beach (which of course would mean the hawkers were that much more relentless). White sand, warm salty water, what more can I say?

Crab watching: It's my new favourite pastime!! Crab watching: It's my new favourite pastime!!

Con: The water quality
As the beach areas get more developped (and they will; there was a HUGE developement going up at Hawaii beach), I'm sure the pollution problem will get worse. There were swamps behind the beach whose smell literally made my stomach churn. No, they weren't real swamps, but stangnant water pools where sewage leaks into. In fact, while we were at the beach they drained one of these "pools" into the ocean. Luckily i don't think there was any sewage in that one.

If only people actually listened to this tastefully done poster! If only people actually listened to this tastefully done poster!

Pro: The abundance of Non Profit stores
Non Profit stores make sure that the souvenirs people buy do not come from exploitation of local Cambodians. As mentioned above, these organizations give people the skills they need to support themselves and help maintain traditional crafts. They seem to have a monopoly on the selling of souvenirs since it was nearly impossible to find cheaper Cambodian crafts anywhere.

It's not an NGO store... but what the heck is a JFK barber shop doing in Cambodia?? Maybe they specialize in the Kennedy hairstyle? It's not an NGO store... but what the heck is a JFK barber shop doing in Cambodia?? Maybe they specialize in the Kennedy hairstyle?

Con: The abusive Tuk-tuk and moto drivers
I'm not going to get into much more than the title, since I could go on and on about our BAD experiences... grrr....

WHEEEEeeeeeeEEE!!!! Mat riding on a turtle!!! WHEEEEeeeeeeEEE!!!! Mat riding on a turtle!!!

Pro: The people
The REST of the people (i.e. the non-tuk tuk drivers and the non-beach hawkers) were super nice. We did not have ONE bad experience while we were there!

My own personal hair stylist!! My own personal hair stylist!!
© Matthew Audley, 2005
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The trip

 
Description:
Leaving for bangkok on Sept. 12. Where we go from there is anyone's guess. Hoping to see Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos. Be back in six months or so if everything goes well. There really isn't much of a route planned - we'll see what happens.
Details:
Start of journey: Sep 12, 2005
Duration: 6 months
End of journey: Mar 19, 2006
Travelled countries:
Thailand
Canada
Laos
Vietnam
Cambodia
Southeastern Asia
Malaysia

The Author

 
Matthew Audley is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 9 years.
Picture of author
From the guestbook (3/54):
Jesse 1291033046000
Reading this brought back so many me­mo­ries. Thank you very much. I spent the last 2 winters in south east asia and am giving it up to live in whis­tler for the winter. Where you guys from. Me Wa­ke­field Quebec outside of Ottawa. I was just sear­ching tonsai and yor tra­ve­lo­gue came up and i spent over an hour reading about your ad­ventu­re.­
Thanks a­gain­,
Jes­se
anonymous 1279806827000
Great nat­ta­tion, lovely photos to live it up. Doing a bit of a rese­arch for my fars east trip, thanks for up­loa­ding your stor­y.

Ramky
Positive Energy Always Creates Elavation 1240144856000
i think that monkeys should not be hurt because thay are animals just like us