To Cambodia With Love: A Travel Guide for the Connoisseur is a guidebook borne out of one man's passion for the enigmatic kingdom. It took Andy Brouwer four years to compile the 238-page guidebook, the latest addition to the To Asia With Love series founded by publisher Kim Fay. It prides itself on not being a regular practical guidebook, such as the popular Rough Guide and Lonely Planet, but rather as a complement to these guidebook heavyweights. It draws heavily on personal anecdotes and experiences, some dating back to the 1990s, from 65 contributors in order to help you better understand the best the country has to offer.
Whilst the book could not be considered photo-rich, "the colour is in the stories themselves", says Brouwer, who first came to Cambodia as a tourist in 1994 and moved here permanently in 2007. "The unique insights that are offered are the lifeblood of the series." Each of the book's contributors, whether native or foreign, are well-versed in travel within Cambodia and, as a result, are engaging storytellers.
Whether it is the enthusiasm of Kent Davis for the heavenly maidens adorning the walls of Angkor Wat, Denise Heywood's passion for classical dance, or Phil Lees following his nose on the prahok trail, the images conjured by more than 120 "timeless" stories certainly make you want to go that little bit further to get to know Cambodia.
And the feedback to date has been overwhelmingly positive. "It seems to have struck a chord with people who like to read about personal experiences rather than the bare facts regular guidebooks provide," Brouwer notes.