Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Backpacking Cambodia

Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is the largest city in Cambodia and the nation's capital, and although it was liberated from the Khmer Rouge in 1979, it still has a long way to go to completely recover from that period. Many of the roads are in disrepair with constant traffic problems. However, traffic lights are slowly making an appearance, and a few more high rise building are built every year alongside the old neglected French colonial buildings.
There are pleasant places to visit along the waterfront where you can eat in one of the several restaurants, all reasonably priced. As with most Asian countries the streets are notorious for dangerous driving amid dust and pavement thieves.
If you feel like seeing a bit of Phnom Penh's sordid history, you can visit the killing fields where an estimate of 20,000 mass grave sites contain around 1.7 to 2.5 million victims attributed to the policies of the Khmer Rouge. Over 1.3 million deaths are blamed on Pol Pot and the rest of the deaths from disease and starvation under the regime. Millions of bones and skulls that were removed from the mass graves are available should you wish to see them.
A prison called S-12, which used to be a high school, shows movies of the old regime containing interviews with survivors and guards. This venue was used by the Khmer Rouge to torture and kill over 20,000 people.
Sihanoukville
To reach Sihanoukville you take a bus from Phnom Penh. The journey is about 3 or 4 hours, but it is worth it for the beach and facilities. For the length of the beach there are hostels, guesthouses, bars and restaurants where you can chat with fellow countrymen and drink cold beer. There is diving here and you can hire the necessary equipment, but unfortunately the underwater visibility is poor and lacks sufficient sea life to make it interesting.
Siem Reap/Angkor Wat
Tourist and residents travel from all over SE Asia to visit the Angkor Wat. The closest town is Siem Reap and apart from a market in the middle of town, there is little else of interest. The market sells souvenirs, clothes and you can get food there, but most people like to head over to Bar Street, which, surprise, surprise contains a row of bars. And it's a good place to meet fellow travelers to chew the fat.
The Angkor Wat is an amazing spectacle and worth going to Cambodia just for this sight. There is one or three day passes, and it is recommended you visit in time to see the sunrise over the temples. This is a scene that will remain in your memory for years to come.
You will love Cambodia; it has a charm you won't find anywhere else. The people are sweet and the food amazing. Everywhere the cheap prices will astound you, and you will leave Cambodia with a definite plan to visit again.
Hello this is Jonathan, The best way to avoid any backpacking problems is to adopt the boy scouts motto and be prepared. Visit my website to see more information on all types of backpacking adventures. http://backpacking essentials plus.com an article that may interest you is Around the world backpacking
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