Ride on the Mekong
A day before leaving Cambodia, my esteemed hosts managed to take me for a boat trip on the mighty Mekong – a must do for any tourist who happens to stay in Phnom Penh. The experience was awesome with the sailor and his crew adding to it with great food and soothing Khmer music. A session where we discussed everything under the sky – self-actualization to malayalam film industry, Mekong stayed witness to all the fun that happened on the boat that evening.
People and The Cambodian hospitality
I have already mentioned how well we were received at the Khmer wedding we attended. That itself was a testimony to the great days I was going to have in Cambodia. After reaching Sihanoukville port, we were invited by Sowichea’s aunt (who happens to be the village head there) for a lunch followed by dinner in the night. For lunch we had some of the best Khmer soup preparations and beef curry which did induce a 2-hour nap for me that day. Dinner was even better! Every family in Cambodia do their best when it comes to treating their guests and one custom that many follow is offering their exotic sea-food delicacy – the sea bass fish to their guests and lucky us – aunt had prepared two of them for us (which is also an apt reflection of their social and economic status) along with a myriad of other dishes.
While talking about receiving your guests, I should not forget to mention the kids waiting on our way to Sihanoukville beach with water packets all ready to fire them at us! And believe me though it got my bag and clothes all wet it was real fun. My 10 days in Cambodia was full of really happy people gifted with a great sense of hospitality.
Cambodia – the 20 year old
My last day, I visited one of the most recommended tourist attractions in Phnom Penh – Choeung Ek – The Killing Fields. The place tells you the story of Pol Pot the dictator and his regime that literally wiped off a third of the then rich and affluent Cambodia’s population – a museum that takes you through the nuances and details of the torture methodologies devised by the Khmer Rouge will definitely send a chill down any tourist’s spine.
Sitting in my plane back to India via Singapore I wondered how would I personify Cambodia with the 10-day experience I had in the country. There was no doubt about it – Cambodia is that 20 year old boy who just got over his dreadful childhood, who loves to romance, who appreciates art and music, who does not worry too much about the years ahead and more importantly who has by now realized how hopeful and thankful he is for the amazing life he’s been granted on this kingdom of Wonder – Cambodia.
Written by Matthew John