Siam Rape

Originally published in Veritas Newspaper, March 2010

When I suggested to the Editor we start a Veritas guide to your most exotic travels, many of our readers clapped their hands in joy and began licking their greedy chops at the thought of vanilla milkshakes at 2p a pop, draft beer for breakfast and promiscuous evenings of debauchery like some 19th century imperialist Indiana Jones. Stop. Before you go skipping off to book your Gap Year at STA read on and think again before you start strapping up your colonial boots.

 So, here is something that the Lonely Planet guide doesn’t tell you: Cambodia or Kampuchea as it was formerly known is a shit-hole. You don’t believe me? Go ahead, be my guest. Take the first bus or train out of Bangkok, where you will have no doubt have spent your last fortnight vomiting into a bucket after playing with a pretty young girl who has a penis and cross the border at Poipet. It’s a shit-hole. I told you so. I love it how as soon as you have paid for an all luxury passage out of Aranyaprathet and into Kampuchea, your travel agent and bus driver disappears and suddenly you are surrounded by men you wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire, telling you to hand over your precious American dollars in exchange for an eight hour ride in the back of a pickup truck. It is only when you reach Siem Reap or Battambang that you realise the currency is in fact Riel and that you have just paid ten times over the odds. How does it feel to be ripped off in your first day? Don’t worry you are not the first and certainly won’t be the last.

 If you survive the journey, good luck to you. I spent six hours waiting by the side of the road after our wheel flew off. I should have known really that the rear axle would eventually give way upon high speed reckless driving where there are no roads as such, just clouds of dust on a dry, Mad Max- Beyond Thunderdome highway. You may think it’s all over when you stop at one of the many marquees set up along the side of the road for tiffin. Wrong, you have another four hours drive before you can digest dead dog or deep fried spider. I prefer the spider myself as you can close your eyes and try not to think about the jaggy hairs that slice the back of your throat and imagine it’s a Cadbury’s Cream Egg as you pop the fried shell and its bodily fluids trickle down your throat.

 On arrival at Siem Reap you nest down on a blood stained mattress and try to ignore the kid’s hand that is squeezed through the window bars pawing at your iPod. Don’t worry your holiday insurance will cover that. In the morning the first thing to do is search for ‘Boom Boom’. I know it’s a bit early for a shag, but the temples can wait and the prostitutes start early in these parts. It comes from the high demand of extra curriculum activities during the UN occupation of the late eighties and nineties. Our boys didn’t have much to do after Pol Pot executed almost every single man and woman in site and used their bones as fertiliser for the rice empire, Angkor. Oriental women are renowned for their charm and the UN boys just couldn’t resist. Cambodia is now one of the biggest Aids carriers in the world, second of course to our other colonial adventures in Africa.

 Next on the agenda is the beach. The Chinese have been paying the corrupt Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen lots of money to dump their toxic waste off the coast of Cambodia, and nature has a tendency to remind us of just what we are dumping into our seas by washing it up on our shores. We are no longer living in the Tang Dynasty of House of the Flying Daggers; China is one of the leading manufacturers in the world and produces a lot of waste it can’t get rid of. Thank god the Cambodians are open arms when money is talking. I never got around to visiting the beach, but I heard it was best to lock your hut at night.

 There are many other hidden delights that I will perhaps embellish you with another time. The Russian Mafia, the black market weapon trade in Phnom Penh and its firing range, under-age prostitution, Ketamine, political assassinations, crocodile farms and twenty foot long pythons, but I don’t want to bore you any longer so we’ll wrap it up for the night. Remember always get your inoculations as hepatitis can be a killer, protect yourself from STDs – never forget your flexible friend and don’t forget to visit Angkor Watt before the Japanese tourists turn the stone into powder with high powered flash photography. Thai Airlines provide regular flights from Bangers into Phnom Penh if you want to avoid the Sergio Leone experience and Thomas Cook are open for bookings all week from 9am till 5pm. Enjoy your Gap Year. 

Recent update on the socio-political paradise of Kampuchea:

 http://www.schnews.org.uk/stories/MASS-EVICTIONS-IN-CAMBODIA-/

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8 Responses to “Siam Rape”

  1. Sinead Carnie Says:

    Great article, it captures the ‘delights’ of Cambodia rather accurately…it’s still one of my favourite places though!

    • shawotis Says:

      Hi Sinead, thanks for leaving a comment. Have you checked out the Doug Stanhope video? Hope to see you soon. Lots of love, Oats x

  2. Rachel Wade Says:

    This is a brave account of your experiences in Cambodia. It’s important that those travelling to these regions have some awareness of the political history and backdrop rather than pillaging for superficial motivations (whether that be substance requirements or physical needs) and exploiting resources without any attempts to try and learn anything about where they happen to be. If you want to do the same as you do at home – Stay there.

    • shawotis Says:

      Well said Rach. Why travel such a long distance if you are merely going there to exploit the environment for your own selfish needs. Gary Glitter springs to mind. x

  3. Ken Says:

    Ken
    Hello, i read your website occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam responses? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can advise? I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any help is very much appreciated.

    • shawotis Says:

      Hi Ken,
      Thanks for reading my blog, I will be updating it within the next few days. I dont get much spam, probably as I keep my fanbase to a minimum. How do you get the blog into the public eye? Is it through attaching the address to other online sources? This could be the problem. Keep in touch and I will check out your blog this evening.

  4. tamogel Says:

    Enjoyed the article, although it sounds totally grim. Hopefully there was an upside? Cheap holidays in other people’s misery!

  5. uggs kopen Says:

    There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the impact of just a moment’s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

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