ARRIVED AT SIHANOUKVILLE BEACH CAMBODIA
A place as best I can tell named after King Sihanouk or Prince at the time. They completed in the 1960 a deep-sea port and was a fishing village by the name of Kompong-Som.
The word “Ville” is probably French as they controlled the country for the most part and have their finger very far up in this country and it appears they still have an influence that is far reaching, mostly for just economic gain.
So they completed this deep water port then America paid for a highway betweeen Phnom Penh and Sihanouk Ville. It is 144 miles of road and the first road in Cambodia I have seen that is good, but the road is obviously well taken care of and this road was originally built 40 years ago.
The Russians, Chinese, French and the USA have all been fighting over the country of Cambodia, as of now I would say the USA has won in its imperialistic goal of making the place a democracy of sorts, not a very good one, but for sure not a communist state.
I found a lot of interesting information while reading the Encyclopedia, but this information struck me as just too realistic and too enlightening and to me explains the French all too well in their ways. Often we thing of the French as being on the side of the USA and England during the Second World War, but it could be said that they were collaborators with Germany, but here is funny quote from the position they took on Cambodia during the Second World War.
“During World War II (1939-1945), Japanese forces entered French Indochina but left the compliant French administration in place. On the verge of defeat in 1945, the Japanese removed their French COLLABORATORS and installed a nominally independent Cambodian government under the recently crowned young king, Norodom Sihanouk.”
I like the French people, but their leaders sway with the wind and follow the path of least resistance, my friend Jack from Canada, a veteran of the Korean war said,
“Remember they are good at getting occupied.”
Meaning they swayed easy and quick, this is the question in life with all friendships will it be friendship when the time get tough?
Well, but back to this seaport. Sihanouk Ville.
AS THE CROW FLIES:
There is about 170 mile of land between Thailand and Vietnam.
There is about 135 miles from Pattaya to the Cambodia border.
There is about 85 mile between the border and Sihanoukville.
120 miles form Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh.
If they Cambodia government can make this trip simpler they can develop a very prosperous tourist trade, and probably steal a ton of the Thailand business in Sex trade. Plus Cambodia seems lax on the drug laws so there is a whole drug and prostitution thing opening up. There are huge resorts built and being built in Sihanoukville and it is going to get bigger as the trip between Phnom Penh and Bangkok is easier. Bangkok is the Air Gateway to Southeast Asia and to get big tourism into Cambodia and Thailand they must make a land route available, and the big money is along the coast and all the way to Ho Chi Minh City. I expect this whole area will be swarming with people coming to the beaches and doing other debauchery in mass soon. The area presently seems to have very little debauchery and the big money is in Phnom Penh.
I really wish they would just develop normal business and stay out of all the bad business as it does not make the countries stable, but just makes sure that organized crime prospers, not that there is much difference between the governments and easily it could be said that the governments of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam are really ran by organized crime families, and not by elected officials.
Fun to watch how crazy works, sad to know how it enslaves the poor.
Note on the trip from Phnom Penh we did stop for the Dinner Commission stop, needed in some way for a toilet stop, but also guarantees some business for the driver.
LEAVING IN ONE HOUR FOR THE BEACH
Friday July 9, 2004
I am going to some city named or something close to Sikhaukaville, this really not fun trying to type in all these strange names and spell them right.
I am ready and packed the bus will leave from right in front of the hotel more or less. The hotel has a tour company that seems to be the local areas major hub for trips, so I am in a great location in the Capitol Guesthouse to book a small trip, but the area is more on the dodgy side. I went down yesterday by taxi to the Boeng Kak area and found it is probably better to live there. The way to get there is not to say Boeng Kak, but probably better to say Lakeside hotel as the Taxi driver took me to this hotel with no hesitation and I did not even ask him to go to a hotel, I just pointed on the map and he took me to this hotel, there is sort of a backpacker area there, I think if you only wanted to spend one night the area where I am is better for re-supply and getting to the market and such.
- Good for one night and markets.
- Good for a one-week stay with more travelers staying and more of a party social atmosphere.
Now I have not stayed in that area yet, so I would be totally wrong, but I will come back here and stay there next time.
Thursday July 8, 2004
I am starting to see a logic or pattern to different cultures, but this has only developed because of the extreme amount of cultures I have encountered and maybe the tracks that I travel inside of when I encounter a culture. There is a supposition, but really a myth that when we meet people they are all unique and although each individual person is unique, there is a general pattern to each person, this is their culture that is superimposed on their way of living, behavior and the way they will talk or even not talk to me.
I see strange patterns, like I realize the cleaning ladies are friendlier than the reception desk, anywhere within a 10 block radius of where I normally stay is unfriendly or not wanting to talk unless there is a profit involved in them talking.
The traveler enters a hotel, and become part of a pattern that is almost inescapable because of our need for certain type of regular facilities.
A person that speaks English,
Another traveler so we are not alone.
A tourist destination,
Something that we are suppose to look at because it is considered important.
But to learn about culture I have to step outside these boundaries and leave them. This is not easy because they are the comfort zone and to be alone with another culture is scary when I cannot take my culture with me. I cannot always carry it in the door, but the above list of things are thing that if not in the equation lead me to a culture and away from my own.
I suppose there is a dream of people that we will meet other people of the world and we will love them and they will love us, I think this is a family that is our home and whether we meet a person in the grocery store or on the other side of the planet we have about the same amount of chance of loving them or them loving us, but there is a delusional idea that the people we meet traveling love us more because in reality we leave them and there is not commitment I suppose the most genuine misguided idea of love is to meet a person for a week on vacation and say they are our friend, not to say they cannot be a friend, but a person that is your friend or loves you does not leave, and people that leave do not love you. I am talking about the compelling need to communicate with another person not the actually being in the same room.
So how to find the “Real Culture?”
I suppose I have to leave
The Traveler Bus
The Traveler Books
The Tourist Destination
Stop looking for what is very special and see what is normal, I suppose the more normal it is the more culture I am experiencing, and when that really special food is served it will be sold by vender on the street,, for that is culture, the other is tourism.
I walked into the depths of a market across the street, it is very hot and really no reason to enter, except to be curious, the farther I traveled into the place the friendlier the people became and the closer I walked back to my hotel the more I returned to the status of just having the dollar Sign Tattooed on my forehead.