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It’s now or never (2)

September 21, 2008

Elvis may have sung this song for other reasons but with the exception of a few love lines, his words are very true when it comes to travel. In an earlier post I wrote about not leaving it too late for travel. Here is another example why.

Cambodia. Famous for: Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot and Angkor Wat. Thankfully the first two have been eradicated. Now Cambodia faces another problem – Angkor Wat literally speaking is- falling down

And the country’s powers that be are sitting on their hands hesitant to act. High foot traffic and visitor numbers have contributed to the crumbling temple, but its not the tourists feet that are the main problem. Its their need for sleep. As more resorts and hotels are being built in Siem Reap town, the demand on the the ground water has put pressure on the surrounding temples and their foundations.

I’m thinking sustainable tourism here, is anyone else reading this thinking the same thing? This news is not new it’s been around since March this year. But the sentiment is still current in relation to change.

Read today’s Asia travel section article ‘36 hours In Phnom Penh’ in the NY Times and the article also draws on the fast changing environment of the Cambodian capital. What once was a sleepy, slow city is heading towards resembling another concrete jungle. With skyscrapers being built, fast food chains moving in, the romanticism of this Southeast Asian country has moved over for capitalism. Let’s not forget its capitalism on global scale. Another change noted myself when travelling in Cambodia was the rise in prices; hotels, food, transport.

What used to cost less than $10 a day to hire a car and driver in Cambodia several years back, can now cost you $30 or $25 if you can bargain. Not much money really, still cheap – for now.

by Cate

by Cate

Depending on your travel needs, bus tours over independent travel, luxury resorts over cheap backpackers, it doesn’t matter, because the reality is if you don’t go now, tomorrow will be too late. That trip won’t wait!

Caffeinated Traveller

PS. I LOVE comments, so if you want to add your valuable insight please do so. Just click on comments and type.

  1. Bear permalink
    September 22, 2008 2:17 am


    So … ground water withdrawal at a higher rate than rain can recharge the aquifer is causing the buildings to founder! And I’d bet no one is using water conservation practices on the tourists or even themselves.

    Dang 😦

  2. September 22, 2008 12:52 pm

    Probably not, like I said sustainable tourism, I think its a concept still unheard of in that area. Either that or the bureaucracy has a stranglehold on those trying to conserve and preserve.

  3. September 24, 2008 7:06 am

    I agree full heartedly that now is always the best option. You neve know what will happen next so why not take the chance while it is there?

  4. September 24, 2008 9:27 am

    Absolutely Martin! I think there are many reasons why we should go now but we always seem to dwell on those reasons why we shouldn’t go now. Its all about taking chances and I think your hit the nail on the head there. Thanks for your comment. I hope to see your name on my posts again sometime 🙂

  5. MonnyQ permalink
    October 3, 2008 5:19 pm

    Agree with the ‘now’ in terms of ensuring one can still enjoy the authentic culture and way of living. And certainly who knows what might happen tomorrow. However I think there something to be said about revisiting a 3rd world / developing country few years down the track to see how it has adapted, profited…USSR is a great example of this.

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