It is a demon that numbs our senses, and its power is impossible to overthrow until you throw up. It is on the five continents and the seven seas. Alcohol is the universal language; this has now been confirmed by dermatologists. In South East Asia it doesn’t just make the hearts of the locals beat slower: Be it on Ko Panghan in Thailand, in Nha Trang, Vietnam, or Vang Vieng in Laos – entire tourist party hells live off continuous irrigation by overpriced bars. But stop! It doesn’t have to be like that! Already in the past sagesex has proven that South East Asia offers festive inebriation in price ranges below any budget – at least for those with a tough stomach. Which means looking for a compromise: Good and affordable is what counts! After half a year of experience in this part of the world sagesex is ready to present the ultimate guide to almost free intoxication in South East Asia: The top three in affordable and enjoyable alcoholica.
What makes the perfect business card? It’s affordable, everybody likes to accept it, it’s original and easy to remember, it’s beautifully designed, extremely durable, nobody throws it away, but everybody likes to pass it on. Now what has all these properties? Money! It’s cheap (in Vietnam), everybody wants it, nobody is expecting a business card made from money, banknotes are beautiful and colorful and very durable, nobody ever throws them away, and it spreads on its own!
Slowly but surely I’m becoming a smoker. It’s not my fault. Cambodia is to blame. But let’s start at the beginning.
It started when we had to buy cigarettes for rolling joints. Because we couldn’t find any loose tobacco. By the way, you have to use yucky newsprint paper for rolling here. Anyway, we realized that Cambodia has the cheapest cigarettes on earth: They start at 500 Riel, which is not even €0.10! For a whole pack! In Germany they cost about 50 times that much! Admitted, it’s rough stuff, but that just makes it worse. Moreover, as a former non-smoker I have no idea how a “good” cigarette would taste. I used to find them all disgusting.
Then, the nicest people invite us for smoking here all the time. Everybody smokes. It’s not as if there’s a lot to talk since everytime we try to learn Khmer our brain explodes and hardly anyone speaks English. Plus, the people here don’t seem to talk much anyway. Cambodia is the kingdom of enjoyable boredom. So you sit around, drink a beer, and smoke.
Yet the final blow came with our latest guest house room. Luxury class – including our own bathroom. The drawback to the luxury is that in truth it’s just a john with a head high separation wall to the tiny room, so that you get to experience fully all the noises and smells. Thus Julian’s idea of always smoking one of those cigarettes we already owned anyway when shitting. An ingenious idea. But what a powerful conditioning. Only too quickly you get used to this comfortable habit. I just hope we’ll find a shared bathroom in Pnohm Phen.
Maybe it’s too late already. Now and then I catch myself feeling I want a cigarette. I could have never imagined this a while ago. This country is truly vicious. Well, at least I hope to get rid of the coffee addiction I acquired in Thailand – because Khmer coffee is certainly the most repulsive one in the whole wide world.
We thought we had found a truly cheap and disgusting drink in a so-called Thai whisky (rather something like Thai rum, but they call anything whisky) without any latin writing on the soft drink bottles it comes in for about 70 Baht (about $2). Cambodia proved us wrong: