Cambodia - the poor truth
Phnom Penh Travel Blog› entry 42 of 45 › view all entries
I nervously joined dozens of other travelers at the pier in
I must keep reminding myself that
But I also saw something else. Almost without exception, each person would smile and wave as our crowded boat chugged by. Living with so little - yet seemingly happy enough. It was a good life lesson for me that day.
Drinks are cheap - and so is life
Both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap have several "Pub Streets" that are geared specifically for the many foreign tourists. It is so cheap for us to visit here - and backpackers love it! Beers and cocktails cost around $2, a taxi to anywhere will cost $1 or $2, and complete dinners are under $3! You can sit along the raised sidewalk cafes and enjoy a great, cheap meal as you watch the nightlife all around you.
But here's what KILLS me to see - the children begging on the street. Imagine sitting up on your "tourist perch" while little children - some barely able to walk - continually come by to tug at your pant leg and beg for money? And you can't give them food either, 'cause it's cash they are after. Most of them are probably being controlled by parents or other adults, lurking just in the shadows. It is absolutely embarrassing for me to enjoy the "luxurious" moment, knowing that there is so much poverty all around me. I'm ashamed, actually.