A few weeks ago my colleague Alison and I went to the hill temple Phnom Chisor, about 45km outside of Phnom Penh and near the town of Takeo. We spent 2 hours on a tuk tuk to get there, and although the ride is somewhat dusty and bumpy (a tuk tuk is definitely not an off-road vehicle) you get rewarded with lovely scenes of daily life in the Cambodian countryside.
Bundled up rice
The Khmer word phnom means hill. On top of Phnom Chisor is a pretty temple, but to get there you have to walk up a lot of stairs – and when I say a lot I really mean a lot. It took us about 10 minutes to get to the top. In the Cambodian heat this is quite a workout and my calves have never felt the same since. But the climb is worth it, as you get rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
I haven’t seen a single Western tourist visiting Phnom Chisor, but there were busloads of Khmer tourists, who were quite astonished to see some Westerners venturing out that far. The locals were incredibly friendly, took photos of us and we were greeted by every single person coming past us during our ascent. Most of them couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw us and we could hear them break into fits of giggles when we greeted them back in Khmer. Either that or they were just amused by the sweaty, red-faced, white people trying to reach the top of the Phnom Chisor, whilst none of the locals even broke into a sweat. Cambodians are just hardcore when it comes to the heat!
Tammy & Chris are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between them they are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. Find out why they stopped pushing pens around the British civil service to travel the world on their blog.
We are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between us we are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. In 2011 we left the rat-race in London behind to work in international development and see the world.