“The air is different here,” that was my first description of Siem Reap, the home of the largest Hindu temple of the world, (and the place that I was dreaming about exploring by boat for the past months) and a place for the second largest airport in Cambodia and most “touristy”.
As I wander around the town by foot and by the usual Tuk Tuk that they offer you in $1, I battled with my feeling of doubt. Am I in the right place?
I looked at the architecture, tried to converse in Khmer, asked curious things to prove my doubts wrong, then yes, I was lost.
The image of Cambodia that we traditionally grasp from the media that’s available to us feels different and surreal. I’m sure Angkor Wat is amazingly beautiful but talking about the “Cambodia now” doesn’t become a topic for most of us.
Cambodia is beyond temples.
TONLE SAP RIVER SETTLERS
I was surprised that there’s a tour to see the poverty in Cambodia in floating villages. I was asking myself if Cambodia is doing this to gather more NGOs and minimally solve the problem of these settlers for now by inviting the tourists to donate something to them to support their basic needs
We didn’t go to the traditional tour and decided to see how the family living in floating houses in Tonle Sap River near the street.
SAME BUT DIFFERENT
Like how we Filipinos adapt to the changing demands of our current society as the BPO Industry promises growth and slowly replaces our own language with English, I am seeing the similarity with Cambodia as it uses USD more than their Riel because of its growing demand in the tourism industry.