Since my last blog we've had a 3day trip to the Mekong Delta and crossed the border to Cambodia. Its amazing here!!
I didn't know what to expect when I got to Cambodia and I kinda presumed that it would be very similar to Vietnam. We had a bit of a nightmare trip getting accross. We thought that by getting a slow boat accross it would be nice and relaxed. But the boat had one long wooden bench down each side, too many people and bags, and it was so hot it was suffocating. We'd also not gone to a cash point cos we knew the currency would change when we got accross. So we had no money for a drink, we'd been travelling from 7am and didnt get a drink from 12midday to about 7pm. A bit of a saviour was when the heavens opened about 30mins before we got off the boat, and we all just stook our heads out for a much needed cool down. Quite a difficult crossing.
We started off in Phnom Pen, a busy city with the friendliest people. Phnom Pen was a start of an eye opener for me. We have seen how other people live, how countires have a lot less money, but I have never seen anything like Cambodia. I can't believe how friendly, happy and lovely the people are when they are in such difficult situations.
Vietnam have had such a struggle with the war, but Cambodia's story was even more upsetting for me to take in. After then reign of Pol Pot and his torturous ways of killing over 2million people, to create a nation of slaves, it is understandable why the country is still recovering. Im not sure that I will put these pictures on facebook because they are upsetting. To think this is so recent is really difficult, when we just don't have a clue at home what is going on. People were told that they were being taken somewhere better, like with better farming or for an education, and then they were taken to the killing fields to be tortured and murdered. With it being so recent, there are so many people with limbs missing from mines, everyone seems to have a hard story behind them. Our tuk tuk driver was telling us that when he was about 5 he was in the fields one day with his Uncle, and the Khmer Rouge had come to the house and said they would take them for schooling and they never came back. And if the family would have found him and his Uncle they would have gone too.
I've never wanted to look after so many kids either. Some of the children here seem to do well with selling books and winning you with their charm, but there are also lots of people living on the streets, with babies and young children that have no food. When we can't finish a meal we always try and take it out to them, or give them our drinks etc. I know you can't help everyone, and I don't want to be giving money away being a traveller, but you can't not want to give when you see this.
Me and Rach had a bit of bad luck in Phnom Pen, we got food poisoning and were stuck in our hotel for 2days, we literally had to do tag team for the toilet, which didnt flush properly, not fun. After a few days of culture, then sickness, we gladly took a coach for some beach action in Sihanoukville.
Sihanoukville was nice and relaxing. I loved a few days at the beach, got a manicure and a pedicure and a massage, and pretty much had a little holiday after being couped up in a room with food poisoning. What opened my eyes in Sihanoukville was the sex tourism. Never have I seen so many older, ugly Western people with young and beautiful Cambodians. Our first night out me and Rachel unknowingly ended up at the bar which is known for people going for this. It was full of fat old men with 20years old on their knee. At the time I thought it was quite funny as I was drunk, but seeing people at the beach in the day and all around us was quite hard to take in. Then we thought is it like getting with a footballer in England, as Western people have so much money in comparison. Im not sure that it is a choice for them.
After a few nights we found a cool backpacker bar to go to and had some fun nights out. Our last day there was my favourite. We got a tuk tuk to Otros beach and it was beautiful!!! Clear sand, turquoise sea and what was almost an abandoned beach. Bliss
Now where in Siem Reap and are enjoying our 3day tour being tomb raiders around the temples, pub street and good food. I'll report back on Siem Reap in my next blod, over and out :)