My time in Cambodia has been mixed, partly because I've been sick for a lot of the time and partly because it seems to be a country in flux. Still struggling with its history and terrible past as well as it's current status as Vietnam and Chinas bullied younger sibling.
There's a palpable thirst for change from many people here and I think that may have opened pockets of opportunity for exploitation. From foreign ownership of sites such as angkor Wat to the sex tourists.
On the other hand, I think that Cambodia is changing. I didn't really see an street children and I certainly didn't see any evidence of child abuse. I know that people who have travelled to Cambodia in the past ten years have sadly seen all too much of both. Of course that doesn't mean these things don't exist and maybe they are just hidden away from the increasing number of tourists entering the country.
The people here are in general not as friendly or warm as vietnam. There's almost a wariness. Maybe because there are so many ex pats and tourists who don't appreciate that many cambodians are very very poor. And arguing over a dollar or taking pictures of people washing in the river is probably not very welcome all things considered.
It's been a very interesting experience from the beauty of koh rong and angkor Wat to shocking amounts of plastic littering the entire country.
There's been a lot of political change in recent years in Cambodia and with the vast majority of their demographic under 18, it will be interesting to see what the future holds from Kampuchea.