Here in the office, we're all obsessed with travel and Chris is no exception. After living in Cambodia for seven months we can well and truly say that he is the Real Gap Experience Cambodia expert - he never stops talking about his favourite country!
To celebrate the launch of the all new Cambodia Experience, we thought we'd ask Chris about all of his favourite Cambodian things. Be prepared for inspiration central! (Can we all go now please...)
What's the main thing you love about Cambodia?
There's so much I love about Cambodia, but the main thing is that the people are really, really friendly. They’re so welcoming, especially to tourists. Compared to the neighbouring states of Thailand and Vietnam the level of spoken english is really good, so it's a great place to come if you're a bit of a backpacking beginner!
There's a real sense of community there too; this is largely due to the Buddhist culture. I'm sure you'd feel at ease in no time!
Lived in Cambodia for seven months – highlights?
Meeting loads of incredible people on the road. More often than not you'll bump into the same travellers again later on in your journey too! Can't forget about Phnom Penh either - there are loads of cool places to eat, drink and hang out in the city.
Don't bother with a suitcase, it's all about the backpack! I'd advise a 50 litre one - you'll be able to fit loads in it without it being too heavy to carry around. You can buy a reasonable amount in-country (especially from all of the cool markets). Look out for a krama in the markets - they're like big scarves/shawls that Cambodians use for everything! A good quality one will set you back about £2, bargain...
You can grab your Cambodian visa on the door too, it doesn't cost a lot and it means you won't have to send your passport off before your big adventure!
Most Cambodia dishes feature my beloved rice (which you eat with a fork and spoon, rather than chopsticks!) and you can expect to buy a main meal for anything between £1-3. During Happy Hour you can grab a beer for about 40p too, boom!
Favourite thing to do?
- I loved just going off and exploring, sounds so simple but there's always so much to see!
- Killing Caves, to discover Cambodia’s history
- Angkor Wat! One word: INCREDIBLE!
Get the most out of it?
- Learn the basics of the language – phrases like ‘hello’, ‘thank you’, ‘please’ and ‘discount’ are great to know when you head to the markets!
- Read about the typical backpacker scams – as there are a few!
- Take US dollars with you, they accept them everywhere. (And heads up, 4000 riel = $1!)
Check out our brand new Cambodia Experience over on the website.