In 2007, we headed out to the Far East and toured Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. In Cambodia, we met people who had lived through the killing fields and were able to tell us their stories of the bad days. We saw a country starting to drag itself back to some semblance of normality. There was poverty, but there was also hope.
Phnom Penh – do not miss this gem of a city! The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda are great, but there are many other experiences that draw people to this great little city. The food is exceptional – with expat French hoteliers and chefs creating great dishes with local ingredients. The beggars hanging around the riverfront restaurants looked poor, but some of them earn more by begging than they earn in the paddy fields.
Siem Reap – after the Dead Fish (died in 1999) restaurant, nothing could be the same… the group of deaf Chinese tumblers much appreciated the singing. The food, on the other hand, was good. Angkor Wat is rightly one of the great wonders of the world. The sheer scale of the structure is almost overwhelming. Take plenty of water!
Ta Prohm – also known as the Tomb Raider temple, gives some idea of what the buildings must have looked like to those who rediscovered them in the jungles of the past. The roots of huge trees looked like snakes wrapping themselves around the ancient stones, literally tearing the ancient buildings apart. In a tropical rain storm, the water dripping from the trees and stones created a surreal atmosphere. Well worth a visit, but get there early…even better to visit during a tropical rainstorm.