While in Battambang, Cambodia I had the absolute pleasure of spending the day with a man named Thoeun who was my driver around the town. He lived through the Khmer Rouge control. While we were together, he told me his story:
At the age of 12, the Khmer Rouge took over in Cambodia. Thoeun lived in a small village far away from any large cities which were the places most affected by the awful power. For the 4 years Khmer Rouge ruled the country, Thoeun hid out in his village. His family wasn’t so lucky; his aunts, his uncles, and his brothers were killed by Khmer Rouge soldiers. He told me that he still misses them and thinks about them 35 years later. In 1980, Thoeun escaped to a Thai refugee camp where he stayed for 12 years. While there, he learned English from American and British doctors at the camp. He moved to Battambang in 1993 where he works as a tuk tuk driver. Despite the sad beginnings his life had, Thoeun was always delightful. Continue reading The Effects of the Khmer Rouge: One Man’s Story→
I’ve just returned from a 3-week trip to Southeast Asia, including 2 weeks in Cambodia, 5 days in Laos, and 2 days in Hong Kong. Overall, the trip was really fantastic – I met a lot of great people, got to meet up with friends from Hong Kong, saw amazing historical sites, had fun travel buddies, and ate yummy food. So as not to overwhelm, I’m breaking up my posts by city. Today’s adventure: Battambang, Cambodia.
I adored Battambang with its more laid back feel than the bigger cities like Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. There’s a fresher, cleaner air to this city – it did win the clean city award for 2015-2016! My suggestion is to spend one full day here. On this full day, explore and walk around the city in the morning, and then head out for sightseeing around 2pm with a tuk tuk driver.
Maybe I shouldn’t have loved this as much as I did because it’s just a train, but the hour I was there, was one of the best hours of my entire trip.