After a short flight delay and a quick connection in Laos, there was lots of excitement as we boarded a bus that would be taking us around Cambodia. While our bus driver navigated the chaotic, busy streets of Phnom Penh, our guide started to brief our group on Cambodia and its interesting history.
Our guide discussed the modern rebuilding of the city after the Khmer Rouge and informed us that currently the four main industries are rice farming, textile manufacturing, tourism, and rubber. Cambodia is compile of twenty-four provinces with a total population of 14 million people. Phnom Penh and Siem Riep are the two main cities with populations of 2 million and 1 million people, respectively. Next, our guide began discussing the rich history we will continue to learn about the next 6 days. After checking into our hotel and getting some food, we enjoyed a cruise down the Tonle Sap River, which runs through Phnom Penh. It was a beautiful way to see the city! Unfortunately, we were unable to see the scheduled movie, the Killing Fields, about the violent period of Khmer Rouge in Cambodia’s history. However, we are still excited to experience more of what we learned tomorrow. Instead of the movie, we were able to walk through and shop at an authentic Cambodian market. It was a little rainy, but still quite fun. It was a night full of impulse buys and bargaining, making us all the more excited to see what the rest of Cambodia has to offer.