Siem Reap Travel Blog› entry 4 of 33 › view all entries
So I left Thailand's beaches behind and onto Cambodia, starting in Siem Reap. Whereas Thailand is fairly well developed, Cambodia is still a decade or so behind. Once you get out of the 15 or so city centre blocks in Siem Reap, the streets are no longer paved, housing is basic by western standards and electricity is scarce or people use their own generators. Still, the people are happy, English is widely spoken (particularly by the younger population) and people are trying to put their tragic past behind and get on with their lives. On my first night in Siem Reap, I met a guy, who knew a guy who knew another guy and he took us to some local Cambodian bar away from all the tourist stuff so we got a good insight into their daily struggles.
The Siem Reap area is dominated by the hundreds of temples in the area, the biggest and best preserved being Angkor Wat. I think every stone on this massive stone Temple is carved some way or other. Its hard to believe this work was done, without any machinery, hundreds of years ago. Cambodians (Khemers) are very proud of this part of their history when they ruled significant areas of Southeast Asia.