Rabea Khan review 9 Jan 2012
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
The early morning visit to Angkor Wat temple to see the sun rise. This was organised by individual members in the group and we really enjoyed the free time to explore other temples in the area as we did not have time to do this in the organised day trip to the temple. Also the visit to the monastary was very interesting except we did not have the opportunity to talk to the monks in order to understand their beliefs and to absorb the atmosphere. Cambodian people we met were very friendly and hospitable.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
Not to have expectations and just absorb the experience of the visits. Keeping an open mind makes the trip more enjoyable. Be prepared for the long and bumpy road journeys within Cambodia.
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?
I don't feel that the trip particularly benefited the locals as the places visited were also tourist attractions. And as for impact on the environment it is difficult to say. I did notice there was more waste and rubbish were tourists frequented the areas.
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
I would recommend this vacation for first time visitors to Cambodia. And just to be aware of the differences in culture and to try to understand it without judgement.
Read the operator's response here:
Thank you to Rabea for her very kind and interesting comments. Its great to hear that she would recommend it to first time visitors to Cambodia - it was originally designed for those who had visited the temples and now wanted to get below the surface of the country.
With regard to the positive impact on local people, we do believe it is possible to have a benefit despite visiting tourist attractions. At tourist sites we do encourage the use of the many locally run restaurants and cafes and the purchasing of handicrafts and souvenirs from local people .
The Beyond Angkor, in particular is an itinerary which visits off the beaten track sites that are only really known to locals including the overnight stay at a monastery well away from the tourist trail.
In Cambodia sites frequented by foreign tourists are generally kept clean and tidy though litter can be a problem in places popular with foreign and local tourists. When off the beaten track we do encourage our tour leaders to use bags to collect litter they find whether it belongs to our group or not and also point out to local guides how much it reduces people's pleasure in the places they are visiting.