A Travellerspoint blog

My good deed for the trip

On this trip, I brought coloring books and crayons to donate at a public primary school in Phnom Penh. Even though it's a public school, education is not free in Cambodia and parents still have to pay for their child to attend school. Very poor families can only afford to put their children into elementary school and after that they end up dropping out and finding employment to help support their family. The classroom was very small and there were no tables. The children used their laps to write and color on. Even the playground in the courtyard looked rather unsafe to use. It's definitely a very humbling experience.

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Posted by okamalyes 22:34 Comments (0)

A village that floats

Kampong Phluk or the Floating Village is a cluster of stilt houses built upon the flood plains of Lake Tonle Sap. The villagers life is based on the ebb and flow of this mammoth lake. There is a school, courthouse and police building on stilts in this community all submerged in water. It's worth the trip to hire a boat for the morning for a close up look on the lakeside village life.

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Posted by okamalyes 22:16 Comments (0)

Commoners welcomed

Cambodia has a constitutional monarchy. For those not familiar with this type of government, imagine the Queen of England and her status. For over the last century, the Royal Palace has been the residence of the current king and his father before him. It's a beautiful complex with several yellow-colored structures enclosed within high walls that secludes it from the hustle and bustle of the riverfront that sits outside of the building. If you're a foreigner, you will have to pay a whopping $3.00 admission fee to visit the grounds and locals are of course free. Please keep in mind when visiting the Royal Palace and any religious buildings such as temples and shrines, always remove your shoes, hats and sun glasses.

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Posted by okamalyes 21:49 Comments (0)

Does no mean later?

One thing that is prominent here in this beach town are street peddlers. The moment you sit down, several of them will approach and asked "miss, you need mani/pedi, massage, waxing, sunglasses etc." The most heart-wrenching ones, are the young children around 4-7 years of age who are selling little hand made bracelets and hair bands. If you say no, they respond with okay then later. I'm a sucker for these types of things and I just end up buying whatever is sold to me. I wish I had more guts and will power but then I think what if that was me and that was my only source of income to feed myself and my family. It's hard to say no hence 1 sarong, 2 sunglasses, 4 bracelets and 2 hair bands later, I am officially banning myself from the beach. Thank goodness we head back to Phnom Penh tomorrow. I don't know how much more my wallet can handle.

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Posted by okamalyes 22:57 Tagged cambodia Comments (0)

The life of a beach bum

Sihanoukville sits in the center of a small peninsula that juts into the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand. Fine pearl-white sand cover the shores and the view of the sea is spectacular. The main beaches are lined with thatched roof seafood shacks directly facing the water. Many offer beers on draft for 50 cent. If you're craving something to snack on, then for $3 you can get 5 large prawns to munch on. This is my kind of town.

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Posted by okamalyes 22:51 Tagged cambodia Comments (2)

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