It's my last night in Siem Reap, which has treated me pretty well as a funky, pretty, tourist-y city. While Americans aren't heading to Cambodia in droves, the Europeans are here in full force, with their families (adorable) or their much-younger Southeast Asian girlfriends (creepy). Most people come here to see Angkor Wat, like me, which turned out to be fascinating and really fun. Photographs to come next week!
Anyway, I celebrated my last evening here by trying a classic Cambodian dish, called amok. It's fish cooked with coconut oil and served in banana leaves. Delicious. Tomorrow I am heading south, to a place called Kampot, and then to a smaller beachside town called Kep, which I heard good things about from other travelers. The bigger beach is called Sihanoukville and I was thinking of going there originally, but from what I've heard, it's super touristy and maybe kind of gross. My bus ride tomorrow is a good eight or nine hours, so maybe I'll finish the depressing book I bought: The Pol Pot Regime: Race, Power, and Genocide in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, 1975-79. My feelings about America are constantly vacillating, but this book is definitely making me hate us right now. Here's an excerpt:
"Although it was indigenous, Pol Pot's revolution would not have won power without U.S. economic and military destabilization of Cambodia, which began in 1966 after the American escalation in next-door Vietnam and peaked in 1969-73 with the carpet bombing of Cambodia's countryside by American B-52s. This was probably the most important single factor in Pol Pot's rise."