So there is this guy on Vimeo, called properniceinnit, who spend two weeks in Cambodia and made an amazing video.
He says this about the country: I was fortunate enough to spend 2 weeks in Cambodia, if you haven’t yet been, go. I had an amazing time and would highly recommend visiting.
Yes, of course Angkor Wat features in this 5 minute video, but like Cambodia is much more than it’s temples, properniceinnit has succeeded in capturing the spirit of the country. He himself gave his video the simple title Cambodia, but I think it should be renamed in The Spirit of Cambodia.
Have a look! (And wait for the last shots of smiling people and kids having great fun in the rain)
Cambodia from properniceinnit on Vimeo.
He also has some useful tips for visitors:
- The level of English was higher than I expected, but try to learn a few words in Khmer (Cambodian), even if it’s only ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’, it goes a long way.
- If you intend to buy a Lonely Planet before you come out -don’t bother. There are lots of people (usually landmine victims) that sell them, they’ll be more grateful that you buy a book from them than Amazon will ever be.
- Even though there is some good stuff in the Lonely Planet, don’t live by it, use it as a basic template. Remember that it’s only 1-2 people’s opinion. Check out sites like TripAdvisor.com and WikiTravel.org (he forgot to mention this website… – editor) Also restaurants and cafes will have free guides which are more up to date and written by people that live there.
- Give the ‘The Killing Fields’ film a miss, it gives little explanation of what happened. Read Survival in The Killing Fields by Ngor Haing it’s an amazing but horrific first hand account of what happened in Cambodia.
- Bring small pocket change (pence/cents), you can dish them out to the kid sellers when you’re not interested in buying their bracelets or books. Their money is in note form, so they hardly see coins and the kids went nuts for them.
- It is generally safe but it’s not unheard of that drive-by bag snatching occurs. Make sure your bag strap is around your torso and the bag in front of you, as opposed to on your shoulder by your side. I happen to witness one a few metres in front of me and the bag was snatched off a girl’s shoulder as smooth as silk.
- It does get tiresome and annoying that amputees constantly approach you to sell you postcards and books, but appreciate the fact that they’re earning their keep as opposed to the able-bodied beggars here at home.
- Remember to use your eyeballs, appreciate being there in the moment. Break the routine of thinking about composing shots and angles, leave the camera at the hotel for a day. The sad reality is that you’ll probably spend more time looking at the scenery on a computer screen than you will with your eyeballs.