Cambodia · 7 Days · 3 Moments · December 2016

Richmond 's journi to Cambodia

1 January 2017

Paying the tuk tuk man ~ there's a general rate that is agreed for certain well-trodden routes. On most occasions the notes are very gratefully received and only checked once we had walked away. The sampeah is offered ~ the very humble way of saying thank you and so much more as the hands are gently placed together, thumbs just in front of the brow accompanied by a short bow. Imagine a London taxi driver doing this!
The people ~ the abiding memory of Cambodia without doubt will be the people. The vast majority of the people we met were smiling, authentic, pleased to share a moment with you, even if just in passing. I smiled at people as we walked by in the markets, the streets, in cafes and always a smile was returned. However, just beneath the surface there is suffering. There is a difference between the city dwellers and country dwellers. The latter were a tad more gentle, perhaps slightly easier to talk with and softer. The city life appears harder, more upbeat and hectic yet nothing like the speed of London. In moving from Sihanouk to Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, there was a gradual change in the way I described above yet the charm remained consistent.

25 December 2016

Tuk tuk ~ is the way to get around in Sihanoukville. Either a motorbike or scooter attached to a 'chariot' pulls you along, usually slowly with a lot of revving. 'Tuk-tuk' the drivers shout from across the street, or in your ear as you walk by, offering their skills in chaotic driving. Cars, riders, pedestrians all choose a course, which is often at odds with the true flow of traffic or indeed the design of the road layout. Scooters on the pavement are particularly hazardous, especially at night when they may not even have their lights on. This was the same in HCM. In a tuk tuk at speed, particularly at night, and you are bombarded with little touches and flicks as the flies and other bugs collide with your face. Dust and fumes envelope you when a large vehicle passes by in either direction; hold your breath! The tuk tuk is a great vehicle for taking photos of life as you rev by the street stalls and other goings on that make up day to day Cambodia.