Wow! It’s been almost five months since I’ve added a postcard to this blog. As detailed on Asian Meanderings, a promotion at work derailed a lot of my home life. Things are much calmer now as the entire Kingdom of Thailand gears up for tomorrow’s celebration of Thai New Year, known here as Songkran. My buddy Jay and I took a motorbike tour of central Phuket occupying much of today and upon returning to my apartment, I found the above postcard he’d sent while on holiday in Cambodia last month.
I bought quite a few postcards when I was in Siem Reap a few years ago — mostly from kids roaming the ruins at Angkor Wat. I even managed to find the local post office in a very shady spot alongside a river. But I failed to mail a postcard to myself. Thus, this is my first postcard from Cambodia to actually have been mailed from there. Jay says he dropped in into the box at his hotel. The postmark is dated 2 April 2016, meaning it took just ten days to travel 851 km (529 miles) to Phuket. That may seem like a long time, but my experiments in sending postcards to myself from the post office box near my job to my home took a bit longer!
I love maps on postcards and have long been a fan of vintage maps. This one includes the place names in French. The first stamps of Cambodia, released in 1951 (before which it used the stamps of French Indo-China), were inscribed Royaume du Cambodge (as seen on the map). The “Royaume” part was dropped in 1964 and starting in 1971 stamps were inscribed “Republique Khmere” for the Khmer Republic. There weren’t any stamps issued at all between April 1975 and April 1980 when a set was issued with just Khmer script. Stamps issued in December 1982 were the first to include the French name of “Republique Populaire du Kamphuea”. (this was often abbreviated to “R.P.”). Starting in 1989, the country’s name reverted to Cambodia and stamps appeared with “Etat du Cambodge”.or sometimes just “Cambodge”, with “Royaume du Cambodge” being inscribed once again starting in 1993. Starting in 2003, most stamps have borne the English name, “Kingdom of Cambodia.” I can’t think of very many other countries that have changed their inscribed name on their stamps as many times as Cambodia!
The stamp that Jay used on this postcard comes from a set issued in 2014 depicting traditional Khmer dance.