My trip to Cambodia was quite a unique experience for me and I fell totally in love with both the country and the people. I had heard and read a bit about what the Red Khmer had done to their own people, but they murdered about 1/3 of the population under the pretence of clearing the nation of the impurity of the original Cambodian culture. Even though it isn’t so long ago, that the genocide took place, it looks like the people lives in harmony with the past. I could hear the sadness when the people, who remembered what happened, talked about their experience. For example, a young boy pointed out an empty house, that I had photographed, and told me that no one wanted to come near it, because the Red Khmer had taken the residents and killed them. And therefore the house was fenced off and would be empty and people regarded it as an “evil” place.
I am convinced that Cambodia is one of the most beautiful places that exists; with all its magnificent culture and beautiful ancient places, e.g. Angkor Vat and the water-people, to name a few. The people are exceptionally welcoming and hospitable and the gratitude regarding giving you their time and access to their homes, which are often ill equipped due to poverty, even so the people are very happy. An example on how unequally divided Cambodia is then you experienced amazing gratitude when you gave them a few dollars. But in the next city you could see a new Bentleys and Rolls Royces for sale in a posh house – and I couldn’t help it, but I felt a little bit ashamed to be Westerner. It seems that Cambodia is slowly, but surely, going in the direction of Western culture – but the question is how good that is for the country and the nation?