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).
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".
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?
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.
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.
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....
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!
|Start of journey:||Sep 12, 2005|
|End of journey:||Mar 19, 2006|