Planning your elective - Cambodia
Malcolm Finlay and Nicholas Sheppard spend their elective in a former paradise
Before the American war in Vietnam spilt over into Cambodia the country was seen as a paradise. The countryside was lush and spectacular mountains surrounding the flood plain of the Mekong river defined the country's borders. The temples of Angkor were and are still among the most breathtaking ancient monuments in the world.
Cambodia still retains many of its charms, but the recent horrors now lend a black backdrop to this beautiful country. The Khmer Rouge has surrendered and disbanded, a democratic monarchy is now in place. The population is tasting peace for the first time in over 25 years and the process of rebuilding this shattered nation has begun.
Cambodia is the most undeveloped nation in south east Asia, with over 80% of the population living under thatched roofs. Few have access to clean water. Subsistence farming is the norm and industry is confined to the few cities. Most