Cambodia isn’t like any of our other destinations, it has a sense of peace to it from the moment that you land. Don’t get me wrong, I have been to Ecuador, Peru and Tanzania and loved every minute of each and every country, but Cambodia feels different. I am not sure if it is because of the history of the country or just the culture, but every moment of my week away felt fantastic.
Our visit to the ancient temples was every bit as amazing as it looks in pictures. As a mark of respect, your shoulders and knees need to be covered, which does mean that you will probably get even hotter than usual, but it is definitely worth it to experience these amazing pieces of work. It is astonishing to believe that these temples were abandoned and luckily still in such great condition (mostly). You will want to make sure you have a good camera with you for your visit as you won’t want to miss the photo opportunities on hand.
I would highly recommend researching some of the history of Cambodia before your visit to prepare yourself for the overwhelming experiences you will have. I have read books and watched films and it still shocked me when you look around and notice that most of the population are under 45 years old, so it is very helpful to understand why. The visit to the S21 Prison and the Killing Fields is a truly humbling one and really will make you think of the torture that this beautiful country has been through. The stories and narration on your visit will give you so much compassion for the country that it is hard to understand how anyone could act so violently towards such a peaceful nation.
My biggest achievement of the week though was our visit to spider town. For anyone that knows me understands how petrified of spiders I am, so just getting off the coach was a massive thing for me. For anyone that is like me – don’t worry, it is a toilet stop. And the town isn’t covered in spiders, it is just 2 girls selling fruit that have a spider each and you pay to have your picture done or buy some fruit. They were really kind and stayed away from me until I was ready to face my biggest fear…..
My top tips for Cambodia would be – always take a spare pair of clothes and a tooth brush for your flight as it is nice to have a quick freshen up and a change of clothes if your bag is delayed – baby wipes is great for a quick wipe down in the heat, but make sure that you throw them in the bin and not on the ground – embrace every moment and push your boundaries. Don’t let fear get in your way of enjoying this once in a life time experience, whether you are scared of bugs, a fussy eater or just don’t like the unexpected; Cambodia truly is a nation of amazing opportunities.