Cambodia: The Bestest For Indie-ing

part of the BootsnAll Indie Travel Challenge Project

So, let us know – what country do you think is the best for independent travel, and why? Or what four countries (one per region) would you choose as the top picks going into the tournament? Make your case for your country/countries of choice!


although i’ve only been to one area of Cambodia, it gets my vote for the best for independent travel. why?

for one thing, it’s pretty cheap. i think i spent less than half as much on an equivalent hotel room (with wifi and breakfast!) as i would have in the states, much less europe, and you can’t beat the price of food. also, since they pretty much use the american dollar, no need to do crazy math in your head for those of us whose currencies are or are similar to the dollar (remember paying thousands or millions of italian or turkish lira?).

A typical menu. Try and break your $20s and larger as much as you can; some places are reluctant to give you change.

also, while it can be touristy in parts, there’s still a lot of culture awe (i’m purposely refraining from using the term culture shock, since i think you’re more awed — in a good way — than shocked).

Oh nothing. Just a mom carrying a TV. And a kid carrying laundry. While dad drives the motorcycle. Taken from a tuktuk.

you can easily get off the beaten path

Taking a break from ATVing

…but there is a good infrastructure should you need it. for example, i got a pretty bad sunburn but was able to get cream for it without any hassle.

it’s still got a bit of that off the rails vibe, and this tweet (from my private account) is all i’m going to say about that:

spinning room, kept hearing things (a chant that wouldn’t end), kept seeing random images of toys from childhood, barfed in toilet…

and last, but not least, great things to see.

Ruins

Hauling

Buddhas

there’s so much more i could write about this trip but it’s 1:30 in the morning and i’ve still got work to do :\. suffice it to say, if you haven’t been yet, be sure cambodia is on your list!

update

some important information about the “orphanages” you may see in cambodia from @pandpvolunteer. i had always suspected there was something going on with these orphanages and visiting them — i think we were supposed to go to one during my ATV tour but it was just me and the guide so i think he just wanted to have fun and speed along, plus it was starting to pour (i got drenched, but it was fun!).

so yeah, be warned that the “orphanages” you visit may not be real orphanages, and those little kids are likely not orphans at all but innocent pawns in a larger scheme to try and get your tourist (and child trafficking) dollars. scary, and definitely not cool.

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