Cambodia’s “cool” season is still too hot for someone with Scottish genes and too polluted for lungs acclimated to the Bay Area’s clean air. But in other ways I feel comfortable here. Tonight in my Phnom Penh hotel, I watched a nature program about the Borneo I didn’t see. It wasn’t Malaysia’s fault that I wasn’t happy there. Just bad timing.
Cambodia has been a sort of feeding frenzy for me. Maybe because its tourist infrastructure is relatively new, Cambodia has a lot of restaurants that have updated traditional dishes in ways that make them less greasy, less salty, fresher, and healthier than food I have had anywhere else in Asia.
Unlike the other countries I have visited and most Asian countries, Thailand has never been conquered, colonized or occupied. Thais proudly ascribe their historic independence to strong leaders, which is one reason they are pretty sensitive about the “The King and I”‘s portrayal of very popular King Mongkut, who resisted European colonization in the 19th century.