Last June, I spent my final night in Cambodia taking in the sunset over the Mekong River. We had just returned from a grueling trip to interview traditional gold miners in Mondulkiri province; I was covered in dust, sore from the motorbike ride, and generally ready to sleep on a hotel mattress.
But, I’d had so much fun on the trip, whipping through the forests, slipping up through dry creek beds, I was feeling a surprising bit of apprehension about going home. So, in an effort to eke out one last memorable evening, I agreed to stop in Phnom Penh at what the locals called Snowy’s bar. This is where all my expat friends said they went to chill out and escape the constant hustle and bustle of city life. After the trip I’d just been on, and three weeks in general running around the region, I understood the allure. Perched on a stool on the open-air deck, I watched the boats float by and the sky turn a soft shade of orange.