Trip to Cambodia + Thailand '06/07 - Day 3 (Continued...)
As continued from my previous post on Day 3 - Siem Reap, over lunch, our tour guide Kakadia told us the story about his family's traumatic experience under Khmer Rouge rule. It was during the years 1975 - 1979 that Cambodia was under the extremely cruel Khmer Rouge regime, Kakadia was not even born by then. He had 6 brothers and sisters, and during those times little children of ages 6 and above had to work in the paddy fields and construction sites as hard labour. His brother, then only 7 or 8 years old, was not exempt from being called to service and as he toiled underneath the hot sun with nothing more than thin rice soup to eat, he fell and was killed for being deemed lazy and too weak to work. His family was also torn apart as his mother was displaced to live in another province, and his sisters and brothers too. If you know the land of Cambodia is huge and in those days people had to travel on foot to get to another province. Luckily for him, as we Chinese call it 不幸中的大幸，after the KR rule Kakadia travelled to the province to fetch his mother back and was reunited in his own province. His sister too married a Thai and is currently working in Phuket airport, which I hope, is living a better lifestyle than those of her other countrymen. Kakadia, too, changed a few jobs and now, though working as a tuk-tuk driver, leads a happier and easier lifestyle compared to the hard labour he had to go through while he was younger.
Kakadia giving me a lovely blue apsara T-shirt as a gift. It's because he said I look like his sister who married to Thailand. I felt horrible as I had nothing to give in return, and the things that are sold in the marketplace are all souvenirs and of no use to locals...!
Small advertisement here (no commision collected! :D), those who will be travelling to Siem Reap can always ask for Kakadia (Driver no. 5120) at the Bou Savy guesthouse to be their tuk-tuk driver. A half-day ride to the Angkor Wat will cost USD6 (per tuk-tuk), while a full-day trip to Small Circuit will cost USD12. A full-day trip to Grand Circuit/ town will cost slightly higher (USD15) because the ride is longer for the Grand Circuit. Kakadia means crab in the Khmer tongue, and he speaks and understands English as well. Most importantly, his cheerful smile and friendly and polite persona will always brighten up your day along the way!
Book your accomodation in advance! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to pre-book your room a few weeks before, and be prepared for a warm welcome and hospitality from the Bou Savy people! Rates start from only USD3.50 per pax per night!