Almost exactly one year after my first visit it was time for me to return to what I remembered as my favorite country in the SE Asian peninsula. I was eager to revisit people, places, and memories I had created here before, and as a bonus, I was going to be able to share a week with my brother and his girlfriend. I wasn't returning to Cambodia just for the hell of it, I'd actually made arrangements to teach yoga in Kampot, but decided to give myself a few weeks of travel before doing so. When I arrived back in Phnom Penh I felt a certain level of comfort, happy to be returning rather than learning how to navigate the city for the first time, but that doesn't mean the crazy traffic and busy roads didn't still amaze me. I had two days before my brother arrived and spent them doing mostly nothing. As I wandered the streets for those two days, anticipating my brothers' arrival, I began reflecting on the city (and the country), how much did I really love it?
Remember that one time I raved about my time in Cambodia and vowed it was my favorite country, a place that left a special mark on my heart, especially the people? I guess it's pretty obvious that I met great people and solidified friendships when I could go back and visit them a year later, being welcomed with open arms. Aside from Dara and his family in Siem Reap/Kampong Cham, and Sa Ry in Kampot I had one more stop to make, this time a revisit to Battambang and my friend Moth.
Only recently has this country shown up on the SE Asia tourist route. With a dark, harrowing past it's amazing to see the smiles spread across the locals faces. I've met travelers with mixed impressions, but if you're lucky enough to connect with a few locals I'm confident you'll fall in love.