Cambodia a country with a devastating past, world famous temples and beautiful unspoilt beaches with a relaxed hippy vibe, surely it is no surprise it is on my must visit list.
Ok so I have took myself of on holiday, some much needed sunshine, some rest and the chance to catch up on my writing, blogging, profiles and websites and everything else I do on holiday…
I am currently in Cambodia – an interesting choice of holiday destination, it appears I am getting a reputation for jetting off to the weird and the wonderful places for my holidays. Cambodia is a country with a devastating past, world famous temples and beautiful unspoilt beaches surely it is no surprise it is on my must visit list.
Well, it is not through luck that I stumbled upon a beach resort 4 hours drive from Phnom Penh which itself is a 2 hour flight from Singapore. I knew it was here and knew it needed to be explored. How could I possibly resist the pull of far flung back-packer vibes, well I couldn’t. It really is remote here and it has an up and coming hippy vibe just like Anjuna in Goa was 30 years ago. There is even an outdoor Saturday market with about 10 stalls; the odd food stall and a few places to get drinks while listening to some pretty good live music and chilling with a cold drink. There is one road in and one road out the rest are dirt tracks. I have a very sneaky suspicion that in 10 years time I will be saying (as I fly into some fancy newly built airport) I remember when I had to take a 4 hour sweltering bus ride to get here.
Well, it is not through luck that I stumbled upon a beach resort 4 hours drive from Phnom Penh which itself is a 2 hour flight from Singapore. I knew it was here and knew it needed to be explored
So what can I tell you about Cambodia – well it’s fascinating, it has intrigued me, a country where if you are over 55 you are considered old and where only 3% of the population is over 60. It became very apparent while sitting in Phnom Penh that this was a young population. I must have sat for about an hour and did not see a single person who looked over 50. Thinking it was odd I took myself off around town and people watched still seeing only youngsters. There is a huge population all in their late 20’s. I decided to take myself off to the Mall still baffled and what I found was Cambodia’s very first western style shopping mall with imports mainly from Japan. 10,000 people visit this mall everyday. It was chockablock with people shopping and dining but also staring in awe at the concept of a shopping mall, standing in front of displays avidly taking pictures, while excitedly crowding round models of what the new buildings in Phnom Penh will look lik.
Overall it was a very surreal experience but what was really apparent was that it was full of young families and again no older people (people over 55, in Cambodia). I decided to research what happened to Cambodia in the Civil War and what I found was moving, shocking and disturbing.
During the 4 year Khmer Rouge regime the party implemented some pretty shocking political policies, declaring that Cambodia would restart at year zero and cutting off the rest of the world, abolishing money, emptying cities and forming rural collectives. Pol Pot was heavily influenced by hill tribes and saw that these tribes did not need money, education or systems so he decided to execute any one who had an education - thus wiping out a whole generation and knowledge. Anyone who was thought to be intellectual was killed and it did not stop there. He killed the elderly, anyone who was a ‘drain on the state’, anyone who could not work, did not agree with his policies or who spoke out about how they were being treated. The objective was to create the first ‘slave state’. Looking back this only happened 40 years ago and after that followed the Vietnamese invasion which lasted another 10 years before they left Cambodia in 1989. The Khmer Rouge then continued fighting until 1993. The result can only now be truly appreciated as Cambodia lost 25% of its population during the Khmer Rouge regime and genocide and a further 15% through disease, poor health and starvation. Most of the survivors were without families meaning there was no one to care for them in their old age and thus died of illness or starved to death. The other thing that Cambodia lost was its family heritage with many older people who survived not knowing exactly when they were born or if they are Cambodian or Vietnamese by heritage. I for one was very taken aback and moved by this. I wished I had more time in Phnom Penh as I would have liked to have visited some of the killing fields and prisons to learn more and appreciate the shear horror of recent times in Cambodia. It is high on my list to do in the very near future.
Looking around the Captial City it is clear to see that it is a country on the brink of change, new buildings are clearly visible and it won't be long before Phnom Penh follows in the footsteps of the likes of Singapore; losing the old city as glass skyscrapers begin to take over.
If you like a challenge and like to experience something a bit different with a tragic past, which needs exploring and to be able to see the effects it has had on a population and Country, I would recommend Cambodia
If anyone is thinking of visiting Cambodia I would say it needs to be visited now so that you get a feel for the real country and cities before they are lost forever to the modern world. It's currently an off the track destination but one that will become mainstream in the next 10–15 years. If you like a challenge and like to experience something a bit different with a tragic past, which needs exploring and to be able to see the effects it has had on a population and Country, I would recommend Cambodia should be high on your list of places to visit. I for one will be coming back time and time again having found something that ticks a lot of boxes with me and as of yet is not commercialised in a big way. On top of that it has to be the cheapest place on the planet to come for a holiday.
Kristina Yorkshire Escort x