Airbnb - Free English School for Kids in One. The ancient Angkor Wat and how to be safe in Phnom Penh
Hello and welcome to the next country in my great adventure in Southeast Asia – Cambodia
Cambodia is a country next to Thailand. As a country is very poor, but as people is very rich!
I traveled to there from Bangkok to Siem Reap. There is a cheap AirAsia connection.
Thanks to my travelmate, who found this amazing airbnb english school in Siem Reap, I had the opportunity to touch and help a little to this great idea. My host Siv was waiting for me at the airport, even though I was very late at the immigration (there was a queue). He took me with his tuk-tuk car. That was very kind of him (all that for free).
Although his house is close to the center, there was no asphalt. That had it’s own charm. I liked it. Unfortunately, I cant find a photo of his house, but I can show you his ad in Airbnb – Ad
I’ve get a great hospitality from him and his whole family, his wife, some of his kids (he has ~7kids, can’t remember exactly) Fun fact is his neighbor has 20, but that’s quite normal about there. Sad fact: Especially after Rouge Khmers, when they’ve killed 1/2 of their population 🙁
Let’s return to the house. The story is quite nice and inspirational. His house has 1 room airbnb, on the roof is a classroom, where he teaches English for kids, for free. He has 3 groups. From the very little ones to the teenagers. On the ground floor he has a small shop for snacks and basic food. He bought the house with the help of an Australian friend. He was very fascinated about the idea of Siv for a free english classes for kids, so he helped him with building the school. He is teaching every night between 2 and 4 hours! The rest of the time he is a tuk-tuk driver. He is very wanted, because of his english skills, which are rare there.
We didn’t need to rent any motorbike or car there, he was driving us everywhere!
Bellow it’s his family with his youngest son on his wife birthday! 🙂
The Water Festival (End of Rainy Season)
I had the luck to be on this amazing Water Festival. The tradition is to leave floating flowers in the river with a candle as the left photo above. For the end of the rainy season and for a good luck. That wasn’t so Eco, but I was hoping it’s just candle and flowers, which are easy degradable. The whole festival was nice, a bit crowdy, but I guess for Cambodia should be quite normal.
I’ve never seen anything like this before. A village in the lake. The lake is called Tonle Sap – the biggest lake in Cambodia and Southeast Asia with sweet water. The Tonle Sap is home to around 1.2 million people who make their living by fishing in and around the lake. And those fisheries, they make up 16% of Cambodia’s GDP.
We get there by tuk-tuk around hour and a half and then boat around the lake. It was nice, although it was a bit dirty (they don’t care much about ecology 🙁 ) That was fully functional village. There were shops, hospital, police, town hall, even a church. It was nice and worth to get there. I don’t remember the exact name, but there are a few villages like this one around Siem Reap, so your host will help you out with the choice 😉 The ticket was 20$ per person, yep they are trying to get what they can from the tourists.
Well there is no need to present you Angkor Wat. The most touristic and famous place in Cambodia, but I must admit you should see it 🙂 You should spend a few days there. For one day is close to impossible, to see everything 🙂 I am not going to let you know about every Wat worth to see here, as it is very personal. There are few very famous. The right photo is the Wat from Lara Croft Movie and the left one is The Wat – Angkor Wat. If you want to get to inside and to the top, you should be earlier and to be patient, it is very crowded and I avoid it. I would recommend, if you don’t get a guide, you should get an audio guide. There are nice stories worth to hear about everything in Angkor Wat. Stories about their gods and their battle and many more. Tip You will read this probably in many articles about Angkor Wat and around: Don’t buy souvenirs from kids! That’s very debatable, you should or you should not. In one hand they might quit school and only sell souvenirs and ruin their future, in other hand they might go to school and after that go to sell souvenirs and in that way helping their families. I am leaving that to you! I didn’t buy back then anything from them, but I was very very close, as they were very cute :((
Well, that’s exactly how will I describe Phnom Penh. With these two photos. Very rich and beautiful parts, and very poor and ugly. Actually that dirty river is exactly in the center. In general the city is very dirty and I might say a bit dangerous(in the night). I can’t say it was very worth to go there, but at least I get to know in details the ugly truth about the Rouge Khmers. I won’t get in details, but let’s say they killed half of their population and the consequences are still visible.
Tip: All the time during your trip, but be double more careful for pick-pockets here.It is very popular on motorbikes. For the girls, don’t wear your girly bags. Have a backpack instead. This is daily routine for many there. My host was robbed several times for the few years he was living there. Split your money in at least two places, don’t have your passport with you, or if you have it, buy a secret pocket! I had it and I was good 🙂 Let me know in the comments and get in touch in the social media for more info!
Thank you for your time and let me know how it was and how could I improve it:)
This selfie is with the Siv’s youngest kid hah :)))