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December 22, 2003

Christmas in Cambodia?

Today's our last day in Siem Reap. We're keeping it pretty chill, after 3 intense days of temple touring. Claudia's at the hotel relaxing, and I bicycled into town to wander markets, scout out some shops and, of course, geek out.

Downtown Siem Reap is surreal. Khmers walk, zip by on bikes, cycle, and honk through in cars. It's dusty. Mornings are cloudy and sleeve-cool, but midday still leaves you a bit sweaty under a newly emerged sun.

Yet trucks rip down the street, with a loudspeaker playing Jingle Bells. Yesterday our moto driver said that Christmas isn't even really celebrated here, naturally, since Cambodia's a Buddhist country. Perhaps it's for the tourists, or for the few Christians in Cambodia? I have no idea. But of all places I was expecting "holiday spirit", this was not one of them.

It's a strange yet pleasant surprise, and now I keep humming Christmas carols in my mind.

Posted by Ant on December 22, 2003 01:17 AM
Category: Cambodia

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