Fiona Welsh writes for Melbourne’s ‘Herald Sun’ on what she experienced on a luxury Mekong River cruise from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh.
Ask a child in Cambodia what they want to be when they grow up and invariably they answer, “a teacher, a tour guide”.
From the cities to the rural provinces it’s the eager faces of these children that catch your attention as you travel around a country still dealing with the horrors of the Pol Pot regime
Up to 90 per cent of teachers were estimated to have died during that period in the 1970s, and education has become the mantra for many of these youngsters.
Eager to learn more about the world, these children readily engage with visitors to their villages, asking questions, eager to practise their English. While they may find it hard to follow some of the conversation, the mention of “kangaroo” seems to be universally understood as they eagerly clap their hands in unison.
This friendly nature is something we experience throughout our 530km cruise on the Mekong River, which travels from the northern Cambodian town of Siem Reap down to the Vietnamese capital of Ho Chi Minh.