Before starting this article, we have a confession: we unfortunately lost almost every picture of Cambodia from Sihanoukville. So we don’t have much more to show you. You’ll have to make do with more on Angkor!
Cambodia was fairly short. Angkor was obviously the highlight of the trip and is truly a must see in South-East Asia (we’re still trying to figure out which one between Bagan and Angkor is the most impressive site). The rest was a bit less exciting, especially after Thailand, although Phnom Pen is an important cultural stop.
- The mostly used money is the dollar. It makes it a country a bit more expensive than it’s neighbors
- The kingdom is a “vaguely communist free-market state with a relatively authoritarian coalition ruling over a superficial democracy” and has been run for the past 30 years by an ex Khmer Rouge.
- The police are virtually not paid and are therefore highly corrupted. Arriving at the border, we had to pay 100 bahts in addition to the regular dollar price of the visa because the officer had hand-written that on a paper tapped on the windows. Trying to discuss it was useless.
- It’s apparently common when driving to be pulled over by cops for no apparent reason and to have to negotiate how many beers you have to pay them for them to let you go
Other than that, Cambodians were very nice people. We just had an interesting experience in Phnom Pen with a tuk-tuk driver completely crazy who insulted us and wanted to get in a fight with us (Tom was down) because we said that we would MAYBE hire him the next day and did not. On the previous day, he hugged me when we said we might use him: that was already a sign that something was off with him – Cambodians are nice and welcoming but not to that extend.
As a conclusion, we really enjoyed our experience in Cambodia on a cultural perspective. When it comes to beaches and island, we found it a bit boring compared to Thailand or the Philippines.