Monday, 22 February 2016

one year in this tourist town

In some ways living in Siem Reap isn't pretty similar to living in Phnom Penh, in other ways there are some really unique things.

I've been enjoying getting to know the expat community here, its seems smaller and more connected than in PP. Or maybe its because of Facebook, or maybe because I started off knowing a few people from when they lived in PP, or maybe its because I have kids now. Or maybe because I shop at supermarkets more now.

Within a few months I was running into people I knew everywhere; the doctor, the travel agent, the supermarket etc etc. The other day I was buying eggs and the toddler started pointing and saying the name of one of the other toddlers he plays with. It turned out our friends were just a few metres away talking to our waiting tuk tuk driver who also happened to be their old friend.

The temples bring millions of tourist here so many people work in tourism. Church members are tuk tuk drivers, work in guesthouses and restaurants.

Some things have 3 different prices. I'm used to one price for Khmer and a higher price for foreigners, but in SR we have a 3rd price. An even higher one for tourists. (Or more generally good and services tourist are more likely to use are priced much higher than I would expect.) In some ways the tourist industry seems like one big scam.

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