This week we are featuring another blog post from Pich K.! He discusses his home country, Cambodia, to share information about it and himself. Thanks Pich!
Before entering into a deep conversation with a new person, the first question that most people usually come up with is most likely about personal information and background. Every time I met new international friends, we simply started with a friendly greeting. Our first conversation went smoothly. But when we jumped to a question which was about our home countries or where we are from, I always felt sad with their next question. Ninety percent of them asked me: “Where is Cambodia?” Most of the people who ask me this are from Asian countries but they don’t know or have never heard about my country whereas I know where their countries are located. I am not jealous with my neighbor country, Thailand, which most of them have visited several times. I usually need to ask them whether they have visited this country or not and if they answered “yes”, then I can tell them where my country is. Most of them have visited Bangkok but not Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, which only takes 45mn from Bangkok by planes. I want to share some information about my country, so more people will know about it and about me.
Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia, bordered by Vietnam to the east, Thailand to the west, Laos to the north, and the Gulf of Thailand to the south. Its capital city is Phnom Penh and its official language is Khmer. It homes to over 15 million people. One of Cambodia’s most famous monument is Angkor Wat, the temple that is featured on the middle of the national flag.
Angkor Wat is the biggest religious monument and ancient temple in the world, and the most Cambodia’s popular tourist destination. It is located in the northwest of the country (SiemReap province) was recognized as an important cultural site by UNESCO in 1992. This world heritage temple was built in the first half of the 12th century which means currently it is over 900 years old. Wow! It was my last trip in my country before I came to Seattle. Not only can you the temples in person, but you can see the internal architecture of Angokor Wat and the other temples virtually as well. I have never felt tired of going there. Undoubtedly, until now I have no idea about how my ancestors could build a such huge temple like this. In my opinion, it is the most amazing temple in the world. Moreover, hundreds of temples and several sight-seeing sites in SiemReap made my trip more fabulous and unforgettable. In particular, the unique and delicious taste of fried chicken with Prahok (the most well-known Cambodian food) felt unique to region, and prepared in a way that I had never had before. It is very hard to describe how tasty it is because in my view, there is no better fried chicken than this.
Another favorite region on mine is in the southwest of the country. It’s decorated by white sand, beautiful and clean beaches, and blue sea. It is one of my Cambodian destinations. Usually, my family goes there at least twice per year. More interestingly, Koh Rong, the second largest island in Cambodia has made me feel that I lived in paradise. On December 31, 2016 my best friends and I went there to celebrate a New Year’s Eve. It was exciting, as we had to get there by speedboat from Sihanoukville province. It was my first time walking into the jungle and enjoying some adventure activities such as zip line, trekking and cycling. More than that, we also went fishing, scuba diving, and snorkeling on this lovely, romantic and livable island. More importantly, we saw a real starry sky and light planktons at night. It was very beautiful, and I really want to see it again. Additionally, we could eat the fresh and delicious seafoods. My sadness and grief were taken away by the soft and little wave.
Traveling to Cambodia is like traveling around the world. Cambodia has a largest ancient temple in the northwest, blue sea, white sand and beautiful and clean beach in the southwest, and mountainous areas with astonishing views in the northeast. I’m fortunate and proud of being a Cambodian citizen.