Until recently, Cambodia was not on my radar. I knew nothing about it except that it was a small country somewhere in the middle of southeast Asia.
Thankfully my friend brought Cambodia to my attention after she spent a week there. She told me about all the crazy things that happened in the early 90s with the crazy Khmer Rouge regime, something that I had been completely ignorant to. She told me that Phnom Penh was a fantastic, vibrant city and the food was delicious too. She let me know that it is a place that not too many people visit now but is starting to grow and become an amazing tourist destination. I hope to go there before it becomes too busy though. When a country is taken over by the tourists I often find it isn’t as amazing.
I read the book “First They Killed My Father” by Loung Ung and it gave me so much insight into Cambodia during the Pol Pot regime. Again, I knew nothing about this and was shocked to learn of a time so recent in which nearly a million people were slaughtered within their own country for absolutely no reason. Reading that book was difficult although I couldn’t put it down. It’s a book, a true story, that everyone must read.
I met a woman a few months ago in LA who ran a donut store close to where I was staying. After talking to her for a bit she shared with me that she was a refugee from Cambodia and had fled before her family was killed. Hearing her story saddened me but she also spoke with so much love for her homeland.
Cambodia is a place with rich history and enchanting beauty that is just waiting for me to explore. I want to learn more about this place that intrigues me so much!