While we are mired in house-hunting and other distressingly unfun non-backpacking adventures, I’ll try to assuage my itchy feet by sharing pictures of places we have been that we highly recommend as places to Go See. Life is short – go see the world whenever the possibility presents itself.
First up in this series is Cambodia. While planning a trip to Thailand in 2010 a National Geographic showed up on our doorstep with Angkor on the front cover. We were hooked and ultimately booked our tickets to include a few bonus days in Cambodia. It was an awesome spur-of-the-moment decision.
Cambodia has had a truly shitty couple of centuries. When other countries weren’t trying to take them down, their own leaders were. Now in a period of relative stability, tourism, in all of its double-edged swordedness, is helping to bring it back to life.
There is an endearing quality about Cambodia – you find yourself wanting to protect her. The temples of Angkor, Bayon, Banteay Srai and Ta Prohm should be on everyone’s bucket list. When London had 12,000 people living in it back in the 12th century, Angkor had 1,000,000. Fascinating. We have pages of write-up about that trip on travelblog but this is the 21st-century attention span version.
The temples that are left behind from that time period are as lovely and fascinating as the people of today’s Cambodia. It’s a friendly country on the rebound from years of abuse and one I would return to in a heartbeat. The gritty resourcefulness of developing world countries is something that everyone should witness; there are images and lessons that stay with you forever, some of them hard to see, some of them joyful reminders that the human spirit cannot be crushed. Get to Cambodia if you get the chance, especially if you find yourself in Thailand anyway. There is a direct flight out of Bangkok to Siem Reap that gives you little excuse to not make it happen.