world map

Cambodia

Old temples and French flair

date of entry 21/06/2007
mileage 590,786

capital Phnom Penh

area 181.040 km²

population 14.138.255

GDP 14 Bill. US-Dollar

official language Khmer

The Khmer Rouge’s brutal reign of terror ended in 1979. By the time Gunther paid his first visit to Cambodia in 2007, there was almost no sign of the conflict. But the past has still left traces elsewhere in the country. You could easily spend a week exploring the temples of Angkor Wat. Gunther has been there during each of his four trips to Cambodia, and says Phnom Penh is also worth the journey. He particularly likes the city’s French-style elegance.
  • "A lot of tourists don’t allow enough time to see the temples," Gunther says. He visited this world-famous complex on every one of his four trips to Cambodia. The place takes on a very special atmosphere at dawn and dusk.
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  • The southeast Asian state of Cambodia is home to fourteen million people. Gunther first visited in 2007. He found that the mismanagement during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror had left traces in many cities.
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  • Today, tourism is an important source of income for the Cambodia’s economy. Now that peace has returned, the country receives millions of tourists every year.
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  • Many members of Cambodia’s Vietnamese minority live near rivers and lakes and earn their income from fishing.
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  • Otto sometimes used some fairly unconventional modes of transport, such as these boats in Cambodia, crossing Mekong river.
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  • Gunther found no traces of the reign of terror during the 1970s; the country had come to terms with its past. A floating village on Tonlé Sap.
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  • Cambodia is one of the world’s poorest nations, but even here there has been a mobile telecommunications revolution, as this picture shows. A floating mobile phone store: unconventional to European eyes, no big deal to the locals
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  • Lake Tonle Sap, to the south of Angkor, teems with fish. It’s the biggest lake in Southeast Asia
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  • Cambodians have traditionally built houses on stilts in flood-prone areas of the country.
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  • The capital, Phnom Penh, is the centre of the road system. Cambodians show a great deal of creativity in their choice of transport: Here, a moped has been combined with a trailer.
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  • This driver had a similar idea. Both pictures show the problems facing Cambodia’s infrastructure.
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  • Here, a roof rack comes into its own.
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  • Cambodia’s 3,000 kilometres of waterways are an essential part of its transport system.
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  • There is not enough money for a proper system of waste disposal
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  • Oxen are still sometimes used as a form of transport in the absence of motorised alternatives
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  • Beef and pork are popular sources of nutrition in Cambodia. One popular breakfast alternative to grilled dishes is rice noodle soup with meat.
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  • Cambodians often show great creativity in overcoming hurdles. Here, the locals built a raft to get Otto across the river.
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  • You wouldn’t see something like this in the Western world: a barber offering his services in the middle of the street
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  • Here’s something else you don’t often encounter in Europe: a group of pigs, possibly on their way to the slaughterhouse, look straight into Gunther’s camera.
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  • A special moment for Otto: In Cambodia, he reached the 700,000-kilometre mark on his world tour
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  • The temples of Angkor Wat were a high point of Gunther’s visit to the country, and he would happily have spent a week there.
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  • Video: Cambodia: ancient temples and Gallic elegance

Otto was here before ...

Thailand

date of entry 23 June 2007
mileage 591,372

Malaysia

date of entry 25 June 2007
mileage 592,516