Will and Mayang's Travels - Cambodia,
|Cambodia is a poor
country. Transport is overcrowded, and at this time of the year,
much of the fertile rice-growing land is underwater due to the monsoon.
|First stop on our trip was the
famous 'Angkor Wat' temple area. It's about 800 years' old, but
since then it was abandoned and the rainforest went wild, growing
around and on top of the temples. Some has been cleared, but some
|Near the temples, some monks
(Cambodia is a predominantly buddhist country) were drying their
washing, bright orange against the banana tree background. Very
|One rainy day, we saw some local
people had taken a mosquito net and turned it into a fishing net.
The roadside drainage river was overflowing and they were catching lots
|To get around the temples, which
are spread over many kilometers, we hired a motorbike driver
each. They also doubled up as translators and guides.
Mayang clearly enjoyed her motorbike transport, and often passed for a
|One day we stopped at a roadside
restaurant and rested in the hammocks. We were satisfied with
vegetable fried rice, but our motorbike drivers preferred snake eggs!
|We also visited the people
living in houseboats on and near the huge 'Tonle Sap' lake. Some
parent has told this kid to go and play outside, so they made a boat
out of a washing tub!
|Next stop was Phnom Penh, the
capital. Mayang did some running and checked her weight in front
of the royal palace on a portable scales (common in Cambodia and
|Phnom Penh means 'Penh's
hill'. The hill is inside the city, and on top is a temple with
lots of candles. We also saw traditional
fortunetelling (no picture) where you put a book of sayings on your
head and insert a pencil without looking. The page is then read
by a priest and interpreted.
|We caught up on the local news
and ate some food. The food in Phnom Penh was excellent,
especially the European food. It's probably the French
influence. The European food was the best I've had in South-East
Asia. Not only that, but the people are some of the nicest and
friendliest people I have ever met. If countries succeeded by
being friendly and hardworking, Cambodia would lead the world.
|One culinary delight we weren't
so impressed with were the deep fried spiders.
|For some panoramic photos of
Cambodia, see http://www.willsmith.org/pano/cambodia/
All pictures and other media are Copyright ©2004 William Owen Smith and Mayang Adnin.