He says this about the country: I was fortunate enough to spend 2 weeks in Cambodia, if you haven’t yet been, go. I had an amazing time and would highly recommend visiting.
Yes, of course Angkor Wat features in this 5 minute video, but like Cambodia is much more than it’s temples, properniceinnit has succeeded in capturing the spirit of the country. He himself gave his video the simple title Cambodia, but I think it should be renamed in The Spirit of Cambodia.
Have a look! (And wait for the last shots of smiling people and kids having great fun in the rain)
He also has some useful tips for visitors:
- The level of English was higher than I expected, but try to learn a few words in Khmer (Cambodian), even if it’s only ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’, it goes a long way.
- If you intend to buy a Lonely Planet before you come out -don’t bother. There are lots of people (usually landmine victims) that sell them, they’ll be more grateful that you buy a book from them than Amazon will ever be.
- Even though there is some good stuff in the Lonely Planet, don’t live by it, use it as a basic template. Remember that it’s only 1-2 people’s opinion. Check out sites like TripAdvisor.com and WikiTravel.org (he forgot to mention this website… – editor) Also restaurants and cafes will have free guides which are more up to date and written by people that live there.
- Give the ‘The Killing Fields’ film a miss, it gives little explanation of what happened. Read Survival in The Killing Fields by Ngor Haing it’s an amazing but horrific first hand account of what happened in Cambodia.
- Bring small pocket change (pence/cents), you can dish them out to the kid sellers when you’re not interested in buying their bracelets or books. Their money is in note form, so they hardly see coins and the kids went nuts for them.
- It is generally safe but it’s not unheard of that drive-by bag snatching occurs. Make sure your bag strap is around your torso and the bag in front of you, as opposed to on your shoulder by your side. I happen to witness one a few metres in front of me and the bag was snatched off a girl’s shoulder as smooth as silk.
- It does get tiresome and annoying that amputees constantly approach you to sell you postcards and books, but appreciate the fact that they’re earning their keep as opposed to the able-bodied beggars here at home.
- Remember to use your eyeballs, appreciate being there in the moment. Break the routine of thinking about composing shots and angles, leave the camera at the hotel for a day. The sad reality is that you’ll probably spend more time looking at the scenery on a computer screen than you will with your eyeballs.
Cambodia is a wonderful country with some lovely people, except for one race: drivers of big SUV’s who all think they are above the law. In October 2010, an expat witnessed something that happens every day in this country, but what happened next is almost beyond belief if it wasn’t recorded on video.
The annual Water Festival in Phnom Penh is coming up. It will be held from Saturday November 20th to Monday November 22nd, but expect festivities starting already on Friday Night.
More than 400 boats, propelled by precision-trained oarsmen, take part in the boat races and the city takes on a carnival air during this period.
Open-air live concerts are held, make-shift food stalls selling a variety of local fare are set up in parks and children as well as adults take rides on ferris wheels.
Bonn Pchum Ben is the festival held for commemoration of the spirits of the dead. The highlight is on the 15th day of the waxing moon during the tenth month of the Khmer calendar, called Pheaktrobotr.
The festival does not just begin and end on one day. In fact, it lasts 15 days, each of which is called a day of Kan Ben. A Ben is an offering. During the first 14 days, people take turns offering food to the monks of their local pagoda in the hope that their offering will reach the souls of their ancestors by virtue of the monks’ sermons.