Traveling to Siem Reap, Angkor Wat and watching the Dragon Boat Races
Kindness and Chaos in Cambodia
Sometimes something is so frustrating that you laugh so the insanity doesn’t set in. That is how my journey from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap went. My friend and I boarded the bus and they were blasting Cambodian karaoke. It was so loud that I could not hear my iPod on max volume. The best part was that it did not seem to bother anyone but me and my friend. The music did not subside during the whole five hour journey.
After a trip like that you are excited to get off the bus and relax with little noise and commotion. Unfortunately, tourists are a major source of revenue, so you get mobbed by people before you get off the bus. I try to negotiate a ride from the mob to a hotel. I get confused when I say “free” and everyone is still mobbing us. We eventually catch a free ride to the hotel. We learn the driver wants to take us to Angkor Wat tomorrow because he wants to make money. We decide to see Angkor Wat at sunrise the next day. It is very crowded but I manage to find a relatively secluded place next to a lake. What a beautiful morning it made. Everybody should go to Angkor Wat.
The next day I decided to go to the market where I noticed a Dragon Boat Race. The area was really crowded but I thought it would be a lot of fun to watch. I made my way through the crowd and took a seat on the riverbank. I started talking to a local, who ended up showing me around. I like trying new things. Therefore I did not hesitate to experience some of the local street food. I tried to offer to pay but was told that I would not get the local price. There I am walking around with a local who is probably much poorer than me. He is buying every kind of street food for me to try. I will never forget the kindness I saw that day. When we parted ways I was thinking he would ask for money and I offered. He declined and just enjoyed showing me around.
By buying these items, we give people opportunity for a better life.