Sunday, April 4, 2010


I guess I have already written some impressions of Cambodia in my last post.  Here are some pictures.

Most of the businesses along the streets were in a smallish building that had a larger space in front.  The space had no side walls, but was shaded by either a corrugated metal roof or a tarpaulin or awning.  Most of the business dealings took place in the front area, which would be much cooler than inside the building.

I am not sure what the local language was called, but its text was beautiful, as you can see.
  You also see that this is a cell phone store.  In every town we've been in, big or small, there are always a great many mobile phone stores.  It's obviously big business.

Another common sight in most Asian countries is the large number of motorcycles in use.  This makes sense, as with the climate you can use a bike all year.  They are cheaper to run, and are faster and more flexible on the road.  As another common thing in these countries is the terrifying way people drive, as things like lane markings and traffic lights are seen to be suggestions rather than laws, motorcycles zig and zag and so can get you to your destination faster.  As there seem to be no helmet laws, or if there are they, too, are taken as suggestions only, we heard that there are frequent accidents, but the people we saw tended to be good at getting around, even if their driving was, by our standards, insane.

There were no sidewalks in this downtown, and being a pedestrian was either exciting, stimulating, or terrifying.  In the wheelchair, being pushed, it seemed even more frightening, as I couldn't make a quick move towards safety.  People drove all around, coming off any paved or dirt area that happened to be beside the road whenever they felt like it.  Vehicles cut off other vehicles all the time, drove onto roads at odd angles, and basically it was every driver for himself.

The vehicle shown above is a tuktuk.  They are taxis, but seemed to be used mostly for tourists.

Despite the litter and garbage everywhere, the extreme poverty as demonstrated by the constant beggars, the slapped-together shacks that many people lived in, the dust, and the crowds, there was beauty to be found.  I'm glad I had a chance to see Sihanoukville, for it was the first place where I felt I had the chance to see the real life instead of the sanitized fantasy many places concoct for tourists.

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