A Holiday in Cambodia

By: leelefever on July 7, 2006 - 3:08am

Since Cambodia became an imminent part of our itinerary, I have had the Dead Kennedy’s song “Holiday in Cambodia” playing a soundtrack in the back of mind.

It's time to taste what you most fear
Right Guard will not help you here
Brace yourself, my dear

It's a holiday in Cambodia
It's tough kid, but it's life
It's a holiday in Cambodia
Don't forget to pack a wife

The song was published in 1980, just a year after the failure of the Khmer Rouge regime and reflects some of Cambodia’s reputation from the time (full song lyrics). I think it is safe to say that Cambodia has come a long way since 1980, which was the nadir of its backward progress. 

A holiday in Cambodia can now be taken with no irony whatsoever. Sihanoukville is a southern town with miles of beaches, friendly people, a laid back vibe and good food.  Beaches in Cambodia?  Yes- and they are quite nice.  Below is where we stayed and a place we recommend for Sihanoukville: Coaster’s on Serendipity Beach.  Don’t stay in the town- head for Serendipity Beach.

Don’t get me wrong though, Cambodia has a way to go, and that is part of the allure.  The roads off the main strips are pretty horrid, the majority of buildings in town are run down and it isn’t as clean as Thailand.  Luckily, these things can all be remedied with time and investment.

The feeling we get is that Sihanoukville is on the verge of an explosion.  People who have grown tired of the scene in Thailand are discovering the coast of Cambodia and you can’t go anywhere without seeing construction in Sihanoukville.  One day, today may be the good ole days before it became crowded and lost its small town charm.  Of course, we are here in the low season, so our perceptions may be one-sided.  Either way, Sihanoukville is better than we expected- enough to cause us too add a little time to our trip here…

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By: jayf on July 7, 2006 - 11:02am

I was thinking of you there when I saw this story on the BBC about Cambodians ride 'bamboo railway'. Definitely post more about if if you see it or ride it!

bamboo railway

By: leelefever on July 8, 2006 - 3:38pm
Cool! I did not know about that Jay, but I'd love to see it... I'll dispatch any info. :)