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Cambodia: Where Time Stood Still

Travelling through South-East Asia is something of wonders. The things you see, do, eat and feel are a far cry from many experiences you may have daily, and many leave you realising that whilst there may always seem to be more to life, you never really need many things to make you happy.  The people of Cambodia are a true testament to this statement, with their beautiful big smiles, warm and generous hospitality, hard working nature and want for nothing more than your business to put food on the table for their families. From the city life of Phnom Penh, to the beaches of Sihanoukville, following on to the oldest religious monument in the world, in the form of the 12th Century Temple of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, every stop along the journey is a new cultural experience and eye opener into the lives of the Cambodian People. Whilst development has taken its inevitable toll on the larger provinces and cities of Cambodia, the country still holds a great deal of it’s history in its everyday workings, from traditional fishing along the coastline to maintaining and retaining temples, to the Buddhist Monks going about their daily lives amongst the hustle and bustle of busy people and tourists. The experience that Cambodia offers is a long way from the horror that consumed this South-East Asian gem a mere 40+ years ago during the Khmer Rouge regime. Without going into history or politics, it is truly astounding what the Cambodian people have achieved since these dark days, to turn their country around in a positive way, encouraging tourism and allowing the world to experience life in Cambodia. There are many different ways to explore Cambodia, whether you enter from the Thailand boarder in the West, Laos in North or Vietnam to the East, the adventure that awaits you is truly incredible. My personal adventure through Cambodia was a magical whirlwind from City to Coast to Country, via Taxi, Scooter, Night Bus and Plane. After spending a week in Laos, we entered Cambodia via plane, making the first stop in Phnom Penh. From there it was a southbound journey via Taxi to Kampot and a scooter offered the ability to visit neighbouring villages such as Kep and Kampot Mountain. From Kampot it was on to Sihanoukville to soak up the sun and sand along the beautiful beaches and eat some amazing local food in the stalls just outside the tourist strip. After 3 days coastal it was time to night bus it to Siem Reap to go back in time to the Temples of a lost world, eat more amazing local cuisine, drink 50c draft beer and soak up the beauty of the surrounding villages. A day trip out to Tonle Sap Lake to the floating villages and pole homes cemented my astonishment at the incredible resilience of the Cambodian people. From Siem Reap it was a plane trip home to Brisbane, back to the reality that is the rat race of the Western World and many years reminiscing of such an incredible journey through time. Below is a snapshot of the trek that was travelled from East to West….a incredibly spectacular journey never to be forgotten. I can’t wait to return! Happy Travelling, HtH x

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