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Old 03-05-2013, 09:45 AM
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Tourism in Cambodia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tourism in Laos - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cambodia gets about 2.8 million international visitors (about 1/8 that of Thailand) and Laos about the same. They seem to be hot destinations, at least for other Asians, Australians, British and some European. Is it just me or do they seem really hip destinations to go to now, especially for the backpacker/student crowd? (part of the so-called 'Banana pancake trail'). While of course nowhere as popular as Thailand, it just seems a lot people are going to these two countries (Vietnam too). 20 years or even 12 years ago you hardly ever heard of anyone visiting Cambodia for a holiday. It was mostly for volunteer work or something.

I think it's mostly cheapness and also the fact they were comparatively 'authentic.' I do hope they don't be TOO changed by tourism like Thailand. I can already see the change happening in Vietnam. I don't have a great desire to visit, except for Angkor Wat, but I'll probably check it out simply because flights are so cheap. How much of a desire do you personally have in visiting these two nations?
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:54 AM
Location: Malaysia & Singapore
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Siem Reap (the gateway to Angkor) is already a bustling tourist town. Restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops, hotels, resorts, etc cater to the ever-growing international crowd. I find Cambodia a joy to visit (albeit too dry and hot in the summer months) and their food is delicious (still thinking of their curries!).
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:52 PM
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Laos is definitely popular, particularly among Europeans. It gets a lot of Asian visitors: Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese, but that's probably not what you mean.
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Old 03-10-2013, 02:12 PM
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
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I think it's (or it was) a super-hip destination for backpackers and "RTW"-type travelers. I actually asked this question about 5 years ago in a backpacking forum and to sum up the responses I got, Laos is an "exotic", relatively undeveloped (in comparison to Thailand) location with good beer and very cheap drugs.
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:11 PM
Location: City of Angels
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a few points to consider

* less than 10% of the tourists who come to thailand are backpackers. business travellers and package tourists (india/russia/china) make up a much bigger market share than cambodia/laos. also, thailand simply has more beach resorts than cambodia, so much larger share of beach tourists.
* cambodia's totals would be at least double if they included the millions of thais that visit the casinos in the neutral zones every year. the millions of malaysians who visit danok or the laotians who cross into nongkhai/udon thani for the day are included in thailands total.

my first trip to cambodia was around 10 years ago. ive definitely noticed an increase in tourists since then. have quite a few friends who have lived there for 15-20 years, and they say tourism really started to increase after tomb raider came out. the same is true for thailand tho. i mean how many ppl visited thailand before the 1997 financial crisis? below 5 million international tourists.

you also have to remember that you're from australia. your country is part of this tourist surge in SE asia of the last 15 years. US totals haven't changed at all. total american visitors to thailand has consitently been 600-800k/year for the last two decades. its all the other countries that have seen increasing tourism to the region, not the US, things haven't changed one bit. SE asia is only becoming a more popular destination for people from certain parts of the world.
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:25 PM
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I have to say Laos is a lovely country, albeit slow-paced, and the people are among the most gentle souls you'll meet anywhere.
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