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Lia Sen Hauy, Proteh Kampuchea

CAMBODIA | Saturday, 5 February 2011 | Views [272]

(Farewell, Cambodia.)

I've spent 304 days in the Kingdom, but now it's time to move on. My time here has been mostly amazing and joyful, occasionally sad and heartbreaking, but always educational and interesting.

I've seen and done so many incredible things:

- visited the temples at Udong

- seen the old French colonial village at Phnom Bokor

- photographed the sunrise at Angkor Wat

- called into a number of orphanages and seen the beautiful resilient spirit of kids who've been through much more than I have

- taken a ride on the bamboo railway in Battambang

- taken drunken night-time dips in the river off the pontoon at Bodhi Villa in Kampot

- watched the sun set over the Tonle Sap river from the deck at Maxine's Bar in Phnom Penh

- cheated death on too many motodops and tuktuks to count (not to mention the buses)

- been almost deafened by car and bus horns and market vendors and karaoke and seemingly never-ending drum & bass

- learned of the horrors of Tuol Sleng and Cheoung Ek (not a fun thing, but I think a necessary thing if you want to get some understanding of the history of Cambodia)

- eaten deep-fried crickets and spiders

- seen the land development at Beoung Kak cause entire communities to collapse (sometimes literally)

- taken a swim among the phosphorescent plankton off Koh Tonsay

- done a lot of writing, and taken about five shitloads of photos

- shown my parents and a couple of good friends around this beautiful country that I love so much

- met some of the friendliest people I've encountered anywhere. The people of Cambodia need to ensure that their country steals the "Land Of Smiles"™ title from Thailand as Cambodia is far more deserving of that label.

I've run into a few people I didn't get on all that well with, but even they taught me quite about about the world, life, and so forth.

I've seen hope and despair and sunshine and darkness, often in the same moment. I can safely say that the past ten months has been the most rewarding I've ever had.

Thank you to everyone I've met here. You've enriched my life somehow, or at least in some way have taught me something.

See you soon.

Tags: cambodia, farewell, kratie

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