During the backlogged holiday for Khmer New Year, Focus spread ourselves out over the break, managing to holiday to many corners of the Kingdom.
There were 1.4 million tourists travelled to various local destinations during the break, according to the Ministry of Tourism. Upon returning, we shared our thoughts and had a discussion on the behavior of the tourists.
Here are some observations of what tourists did right and the practices that they should keep, as well as some things that may need some improvement…
1. The Good: Discover hidden tourist spots, only known to the locals
Once you travel more, you are often able to discover popular spots with the locals. But without being a regular or a local, how can you find out about these places? Before heading off, do a background search or ask around. There’s a hidden world of wonder out there…
2. Need Improvement: Trash, trash, trash
Packing food before your trip can be convenient and save you money – that’s reasonable. But what about the piles of trash that mounted over Khmer New Year? Instead of shifting the blame on a lack of bins, bring a big plastic bag along and throw all your trash in it and discard it at the end of the day when you find an available bin. Easy as one, two, three.
3. Need Improvement: Noise pollution
We were expecting to hear the natural sound of water flowing at the falls or the sound of waves crashing against the seashore, but what we heard instead was karaoke blaring out on a portable loudspeaker. Be mindful of your surroundings and the neighbourhood, not everyone stays awake past midnight…
4. The Good: Spent quality time with loved ones, not on their phones
5. The Good: Supported local shops, restaurants and hotels
When the pandemic began, many tourism businesses got hit – and hit, hard. By traveling domestically and using the local resources it means you are supporting local business and helping them to thrive. Over the holiday break, we saw Cambodians head off in their droves to local beauty spots and support the tourism businesses that got suffocated by the lack of tourism, due to the pandemic.
6. The Good: Diversifying your travel experience
The Focus team noticed that tourists these days have tried different activities such as cycling, trekking, getting to know the locals, learning about the history of the places, hunting for local authentic cuisine, among others. Being a little bit different and branching out can often lead to some great, unique experiences.
7. Need Improvement: Road safety
While the country’s roads have never been particularly safe, travelling during the holiday was a sudden reminder of just how dangerous they can be. It’s important to be courteous of your fellow travelers on the road and remember that wherever you are going, it isn’t going anywhere fast. It will be there when you arrive, whatever the time. Be courteous, drive safely and never drink alcohol before you drive.
8. Need Improvement: Traffic jam
During the holiday season, it’s understandable that there will be traffic enroute to your destination. If only everyone can be patient, and understand the priority of the laws of the road, the holiday will then remain a pleasant memory and your ears won’t be pierced by car horns.