First Impressions of Cambodia


164_6445-4.JPGHere’s a few of my initial observations and impressions of Cambodia:

People carry anything and everything on the back of motorcycles, from human passengers to huge pigs to industrial building materials. And I’m still not sure how many dozens of chickens and geese the average scooter can carry.

Motorcycles carry loads that should be carried in pickups, while pickups carry loads that would fill a delivery truck.

Unless an ATM has a huge VISA or MasterCard sign, it won’t take your card. ATMs also dispense dollars.


Gas is either sold in Johnnie Walker bottles or pumped out of 55-gallon drums.

There are way too many moto and tuk-tuk drivers. The most used phrase in this country has to be: “tuk-tuk?”

Cambodian currency, riel is used almost exclusively as change for dollars. Almost everything is quoted and paid with in dollars. The only difference from the US? Riel instead of cents.

Cambodia has big fields of farmland, rather than the small sustenance plots that cover Lao.

Billboard and poster campaigns reveal some of Cambodia’s problems: Dengue, bird-flu, guns, HIV/AIDS, slash-and-burn agriculture, and physical violence.

Relative to Thailand and Lao, people speak more English. Speaking of those two places, Cambodia is in the middle developmentally and crazy as a consequence. Its neither efficient and fully developed, nor peacefully undeveloped. Also, the Cambodian flag flies alone. No Buddhist flag next to it like Thailand or Communist flag like Lao.

Many women wear matching pajama tops and bottoms- in public. Its kind of weird, because it looks like most of the women just got out of bed.

For the first time in SEA, crossing the street is an adventure.

Horse or ox-carts are just as common as cars, although bicycles and scooters rule the roads here.

One thought on “First Impressions of Cambodia

  1. That looks like an interesting transportation system for goods. I suppose its more energy efficient for transporting goods around. I’ve seen carts like that in some major cities in China, but they were only carrying flat-panel TV and electronics.

    P.S. I found your site on the WordPress Forums. Your site looks pretty good, but I think you have a blank blue banner somewhere in rotation, as sometimes I don’t see an image on the header. Otherwise, nice job!

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