I’ve just completed my first week in Cambodia and I have to say it’s not what I expected. Having visited China in the past, I had this preconceived idea that Cambodia would be very similar but perhaps a little poorer with less infrastructure. In some ways this is true with similar restaurants, shops and amazing scenery but it is also very different.
Having lived here for a week, especially not in a touristy location, I’ve had a very different experience to the one I had in China. People here are much friendlier and much more willing to forgive my terrible attempts at Khmer.
My flat is small but quaint with all the basic amenities, but in fairness I wouldn’t ask for much else because I don’t spend much time there. There are so many amazing things to see and do outside, so I prefer to spend my time away from home. One of the best experiences so far is the food, whether it’s from a small cart on the side of the road or a nice restaurant, all the food here has been incredible and I’ve made it my sole mission to try It all; and with prices usually so low eating out really doesn’t have to be a once a week treat.
Living in Cambodia though has brought up some challenges as well though; for example I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the strange money system, the seeming obsession of using rice at every meal or the crazy weather. I’m not sure I could name one time since being here where I haven’t been sweating or it being on the cusp of a torrential downpour which makes getting around – interesting.
So far I have loved living here and look forward to experiencing much more of the local culture in Phnom Penh.