Marokko Dodra

What we miss from Cambodia

Angkor Wat in Kambodscha

What we miss from Cambodia

We were in Cambodia for a total of 6 days. Can you say that we are missing something? I mean, it’s not even a week? And yes, we do indeed miss a few things from this country in the Far East. What this is what we miss from Cambodia, you will find out in a moment. But before we start, Claudia’s mother, Camilla, finds us at the airport in Thailand without much searching. We have agreed on the meeting point here to fly to Cambodia together. So – Sus Rei – means Good day in Khmer.
It had been Camilla’s wish for a long time to travel to Angkor Wat. And here we are, ready to fly over there. The special thing about it is that Camilla will celebrate her 84th birthday this week. The flight takes just one hour and we land at the newly built, shiny airport in Siem Reap. More tourists are expected in the future, because the airport is like an egg. Sparkling clean. So new that the employees are not yet fully organized at passport control.

Kambdosha – a well-known, unknown country

We Swiss, or rather we Europeans, know rather little about Cambodia. Some know that there is the world’s largest temple complex here – Angkor Wat. Although that’s not quite correct. Angkor Wat is just a temple. There are also countless other temples. One more astonishing than the other in terms of architecture and the decade built in the corresponding century. When looking at these buildings, the question arises again and again: “How could they create such straight, interlocking and fitting stone blocks back then, only with hammer and chisel?” They fit together so precisely that you can’t even put a sheet of paper between them. How could that work when we need laser technology nowadays to get a clean, straight cut? Have humans forgotten how to deal only with simple technology?
The country has an eventful past. It was once under French rule, then under Thai leadership, and not so long ago the Khmer Rouge ruled this country under cruel conditions. The Khmer Rouge murdered thousands of Cambodians, abducted men, raped women and turned children into soldiers. When will humanity finally learn that violence will never, absolutely never bring peace?

The people – the city

Cambodians are cheerful and hard-working. They spare little effort and can speak English quite well. We notice that the city of Siem Reap is very clean and well maintained. And unlike Thailand, you don’t see any cables hanging around in this city. No cable clutter, no cable chaos. It seems as if these have been laid under the ground. The vehicles are also in much better condition than those in Thailand. Sometimes you wonder if the Thais throw an anchor to brake, because sometimes you can see the feet of the occupants flashing through the rusty ground. Here not everything has been spoiled by mass tourism. Although the first signs can already be seen. Because in downtown the city, in the pedestrian zone, restaurants and bars are lined up. All with pizza and hamburgers on the menu. Not for us. We are in Cambodia and we eat local dishes.

We booked 3 days of temple shows

We will be picked up at the hotel by our driver in the morning. He will be our driver and guide for the next three days. So we start with the big tour. The big tour is not big because there are so many temples to see, but it is big because the temples are so far apart. By car, we need a whole day to do this. The first temple is already a stunner. Sculptures, ornaments, figurines, symbols, animals… So filigree, so detailed, so old. Some of these temples were built in the 10th century. Imagine that. The first temples were built over a thousand years ago and are still standing today. Society can no longer do that today. A smartphone lasts a maximum of just two years. Cheap scrap with maximum profit for the manufacturers – that is today’s consumer society. Zero quality, massive quantity. I don’t remember how many temples the three of us visited. Around eight on the first day, around 6 on the second day and Angkor Wat on the third day at sunrise. However, there was nothing cloudy with the rising sun. And Camilla was everywhere. She even climbed to the top platform of the Angkor Wat temple – at the age of 84. All respect. And she beamed. A lifelong dream has come true.

Butterfly Garden, Acrobat Circus and Floating Village

On another day we thought that we wanted to see something of the country. So we book a TukTuk that takes us to the Butterfly Garden. The Butterfly Garden is based on donations and is lovingly run by enormously good English-speaking women. Here, every phase is accompanied from the eggs – which are taken from the leaves of the plants – to the pupated butterfly. The trip with the TukTuk takes about 90 minutes. On another day we drive to the Floating Village. Unfortunately, there is quite little water in the lake right now, so floating is more like a muddy village. This is where the really poor population of Cambodia lives. They live from fishing from the lake or river. On the last evening we enjoy a circus show right at the hotel around the corner. There are no animals in the show. They are all acrobats and jugglers. This institution was founded out of an emergency situation and today comprises around 1200 students, who get a chance and a perspective for the future here. The show was sensational, entertaining and of the highest acrobatic performance.


For the fact that we were only in Cambodia for six days, this country convinced us from the first minute. Despite a terrible and gloomy past, the people are cheerful, friendly and sociable. They make every effort to fulfill the wishes of the tourists. It is a poor country, but aspiring. So it is to be hoped that mass tourism will not spoil this people as in Thailand in Pattaya or elsewhere, where the tourist believes that just because he pays, the tourist can behave like a little king.

Wir sind Claudia und Thomas und möchten mit unserem Blog und unseren Tipps Anregungen geben und die Fantasie ankurbeln.

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