Just got back from my SE Asia trip and surprised myself by spending 7 weeks out of 12 in Cambodia - I'd only planned on 3!
My first trip but after 7 visits to Thailand it was time to look east.
What a crazy country, destroyed in Pol Pot's ludicrous scheme it's basically a country that started from scratch 28 years ago with nothing - no
money, no teachers, no schools, nada.
The roads are terrible & chaotic, everyone's on the make, the food's very average, hygiene a very loose concept, landmines still make many areas off
limits and safety after dark is iffy at best.
The Govt do very little, everything is paid for by another country - mainly Japan, China, Korea and Thailand. Many NGO's are also 'helping' It
'works' despite itself
I loved it!
Even while I was there I was struggling to decide why I liked it. Among the good points are:
Damned cheap - $20 (or less) a day and you can live very well
Dollar economy so great for Brits and Europeans
- still cheap for Americans though
Cannabis is legal as long as you don't smoke it - traditional Khmer ingredient in cooking - (so no breaking of ATS rules then by mentioning it -
Other drug policies are fairly relaxed (although obviously I only heard that)
The people - yes they're poor and hassle you begging etc but they are genuine and don't do the false smile / rip-off thing that Thailand has
developed to an art form.
Many friendly ladies - not like Thailand where to be seen with Farrang implies prostitute - you can go out socially with the Khmers and just chat
It's not Thailand
Visa's much simpler and easier than Thailand now.
Anything official can be sorted with a dollar or two, not saying you can bribe your way out of a criminal charge but little hassles like turning up
with no photo for your visa is easily resolved with a dollar
It's less cluttered with silly gap year kids than Thailand.
Plus they actually need your money whereas Thailand now seems to only welcome you if you're staying 5 star for 2 weeks
If you get the chance now's the time to go. Go now before people like you and I spoil it
BTW despite what you may hear there's very little gunfire (less than London!) and the paedo thing is being dealt with - beyond reports of pervy
Brits, Yanks, Germans etc getting 10+ years for it I saw no evidence of that sort of thing. I obviously wasn't looking but I'd heard it was overt /
everywhere - certainly not my experience