Into TGL: A Month In Cambodia
April 3, 2016
The Green Lion
I was in Cambodia for 4 weeks. The first week was the Culture Week with TGL, and the first few days we stayed in Siem Reap. We saw the Killing Fields, the War Museum and the Artisans D’Angkor, which are workshops where they do traditional arts.
It was all very interesting, but the best part began afterwards. After a few days we went to the main camp in Samraong, which is about two hours outside of Siem Reap. The Green Lion built a school there, for the poor local children. We visited the school, took some cooking lessons and the next week we were working at the school. Everybody that is staying at the camp is working at the school, some do teaching, some do construction work like building new tables, benches, etc.
The children were so nice. And because we are the only foreigners there, everybody immediately knows that we are the teachers, so when we were riding the bikes to school, everyone shouts “HELLO TEACHER!”. It was just so awesome!
I really, really enjoyed it. I still have to say this was my favorite part in Cambodia. It was just really awesome. The people at the camp were so nice. Everyone was gathering in the evening, playing cards. We all know each other. It was so familiar. It was sad when people left on Friday. But it was also fun when new people arrived on Sunday and we started getting to know them.
After one and a half week there, our trip continued. We went back to Siem Reap where we visited Angkor Wat and the floating villages. After that, we drove by bus to Phnom Penh, it took about 7 hours. We arrived there and it was just this crazy and big city. No traffic lights at all. Somehow it worked out, I still don’t know why. It was insane.
Phnom Penh was not my favorite part, it was too busy. One night we tried to go out and party but there was not a single decent club. Either they played bad music, or they played good music but no one was there.
In the last week, we drove to Sihanoukville, at the beach. It was very nice, they have two different beaches. One beach was more like the party beach, with lots of restaurants and clubs. And another beach which is way more relaxed. We usually spent the days at the latter and went on to the party beach during the evenings.
We also went to Ream National Park, where we walked and climbed up the mountains and were greeted with beautiful views.
I really enjoyed the road trip through Cambodia. I was travelling with another German guys and two girls from the Netherlands. In the last week in Centre Ville, there was a Dutch guy who joined us. We first met in Samraong at the school, we became friends and he said “yeah, I’m going to join you when you reach the beach”. There was also another guy from Denmark, he joined us only for a few days because after that he went to one of the islands because he wanted to see it before he went on to Vietnam. That was pretty nice, seeing them again and having a few days together and just… just enjoying ourselves.