Most Inspirational Moment
it would be impossible to single out one moment. The visit to the Genocide Museum and subsequently the Killing Fields will stay with me for ever. The temples of Angkor Wat were astounding as was the history and stories behind them. Most warming for me were the people. Most have very little in life but they smile, cannot do enough to help you or tell you of their country - their pride and humanity is astounding. I loved Kampot, especially that lovely hotel (the Columns?) and the insights we had into the life, skills and crafts of the local people. The food was amazing throughout - I tried most things (avoided rat and frog) and loved all of it. The hospitality skills throughout were very generous at all levels of society. This was a trip that lifted me out of my own worries and those of the world - it was life affirming and I am so pleased to have been a part of it.
Thoughts on Group Leader
Fila is quite a guy. He is warm, fun, a proud Cambodian and family man. He had such an excellent knowledge of all the places we visited and if he was unsure of any of our bizarre questions he went out of his way to find out what we want to know. He met all our requests, including Happy Hour at Raffles in Siem Reap, and guided us into a diverse array of restaurants and bars, from authentic tourist locations, to "local local" establishments, including a home dining experience which, without exception, we all loved. FIla's English is good and getting better as he is determined to learn. His pronunciation lead to some minor humorous misunderstandings at times, though overall it was excellent. At times Fila tended to over explain and illustrate his point, but I think this was to ensure that we understood his thinking. Overall, he was the best of excellent guides.
Advice for Potential Travellers
Dont hesitate to take this trip if you are curious. There is so much to see and do, lots to learn if you are that way inclined, and overall it offers a great range of activities and experiences. We found Cambodia to offer an insight into "old Asia" as well as the more modern aspects - a mid may between Thailand and Malaysia ,and northern Vietnam for example. The food is amazing, the landscapes are beautiful and the palaces and temples quite exquisite. The recent history of genocide in this country needs mentioning, as its echos are still heard in the country today. An extra day in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap would be a good idea at each end of the holiday.
We loved the variety of activities. The cruises,the cycling and the Rickshaw rides were so memorable. The TukTuks and road crossing experiences were quite something as well as the markets and the opportunity to try local simple foods such as Palm Cakes, Coconut Rice Cake and the BBQ'd meats. IT was a busy itinerary, with little down time. Thats not a complaint - just an observation. Several of the optional activities promised by the itinerary were not available eg the cooking class, the jungle and zip wire option and the silk factory. I was disappointed to miss all three, though I'm not sure when and how we could have fitted them in.