Friday, December 9, 2011

5 things Cambodia does better than Australia

I love how different places do things slightly differently.  It keeps you guessing, know what I mean? Do you remember that scene in Pulp Fiction where Jules (Samuel L Jackson) is explaining to Vincent (John Travolta) that in Amsterdam "they go the same shit over there that we got here, its just there... there it's a little different"

Having been in Cambodia a few weeks, I've noticed a few things Cambodia do a little bit better than us.

  1. Mobile Phones (Cell Phones)   
Seriously, Australia is behind the times with mobile phone technology. Personally, I think its because our Telcom's enjoy a captive market that will force people to ring up to listen to advertising, or that annoying recorded bitch, "Lisa", from Vodafone.  Anyone know what I'm talking about?  "Hi, I'm Lisa. I'm here to help you today.  Why not tell me, in a few simple words, what I can help you with?"  So annoying!  Here, I buy a card, enter a number a bam! Recharged! Now, I know we have that in Australia as well, but check this out.  If I want to know my balance, I just type #124# into my key pad, and look what comes up.... Brilliant

        2.  Traffic Lights

AMAZING!!   I once heard a story about when elevators were first made where people would complain that they took too long.  To overcome this, elevator makers started putting in mirrors, and complains stopped. Well, a similar tactic has been applied here.  At traffic lights in Siem Reap (and this is quite common throughout Asia) the lights have a count down next them which tells you how much time you have of each red, yellow and green light! :)  Its fantastic.  No stressing as to how long you have, and if you are riding home after a few drinks its fun to race the green light! 

Also, the count down exists for the little man to tell you to cross the street.  Oh, and get this, the little man walks faster and faster as the timer counts down to stop crossing until here's doing a little run!  Check it out!!

       3.   Standard drinks

Um, what are they?  Forget putting a standard amount of alcohol into your drink.  If you tip more, or are friendly to the staff, you get more booze in your drink as it should be.  Besides, when it comes to cocktails, you use a recipe with fresh fruit and sugars etc which can taste different depending on season and freshness.  Sometime you need more booze to counteract that.  Other times... you just want some more booze.  

       4.   Happy Food

Oh, my God....  I don't know if this is necessarily something that Cambodia "does better" but they do it.  And it was an experience...  Those effects lasted all afternoon until I crashed at about 8:00 (I had a small pizza for lunch).  It was mellow, but definitely there!  And there are happy shakes too, for those who may not want to indulge in a whole pizza!!

       5.   Traffic

Traffic in Siem Reap doesn't flow much faster than a bicycle which is great because I am riding a really old squeaky bike!!  I manage to keep up with traffic and weave in and out of on coming cars and motorbike with ease and confidence.  That aside, there are a lot fewer cars on the road, more tuk-tuk's, bicycles and motorbikes which is actually quite calming.  There is something very "old age oriental" about cycling into a city on an old vintage bike with a basket and not having to worry about cars fly past at 60 km an hour.  Then there are tuk-tuks! Tuk-tuks are small carriages which get towed behind motorbikes or bicycles (less common in Siem Reap). Such a nice way to get home!  Saves having to ride and find a place to keep your bike. And there are no shortage of them either! Perth needs tuk-tuks!!!  Want to get home and there is only one of you?  Grab a massing motorcycle, flash a dollar, and your home! Easy done!!Oh, and you don't have to wear a helmet if you are a passenger, or on a bicycle, while you are riding ewhich is fine coz you, or anyone else for that matter, just aren't going fast enough to cause any damage.

What about you?  What are the "little differences" you've noticed while you were travelling?

Comment below or on Facebook!  Also, you can now just enter you email address to find out when I upload a post.  It might even go to your email, maybe your work email so you can read it instead of doing whatever else you are suppose to be doing!! 

Take care, all!

Until Monday,




  1. I love Cambodia! Fell in love with the place the minute I set foot there... I am actually thinking that I should move there...
    Jonathan Gibbs (Curtin College - Miri)

  2. a friend of mine tells me that in Rome, the car traffic waits a little ways back at a red light, to allow for all the scooters to go ahead. They accumulate in front of stopped traffic, and then all zoom off when the light goes green, leaving the slower cars behind. So neat! People in Australia yell at you if you do this on a motorcycle. I speak from experience :(

    1. That happens In Cambodia too.! Not just for motorcycles and scooters, but bikes as well (slower traffic). Its such a good system.