All things considered, I'm a pretty good packer. Definitely, a light packer. Very light. So light I didn't pack certain things I really wish I had with me. Here's a list:
1. Hand sanitizer
I realize this will be strange for some people, but personally I find hand sanitizer really gross. It's goopy, it's wet, it doesn't make me feel like my hands are clean. I'm one of those hot-water-and-soap folks. But here, where there can be a real lack of places to wash one's hands after using very questionable toilets, some hand sanitizer would be welcome. Add touching unpleasant surfaces like hand railings on buses and trains into the mix and hand sanitzer is one item I definitely wish I'd added to my bag. (Of course I have two bottles of the stuff back home, why didn't I think to just throw one in, just in case?)
2. A handkerchief
Not for blowing my nose, for wiping the ocean of sweat off my face every five minutes.
3. A sun-proof umbrella
I don't care how much of a dork I look like, I want a light-colored umbrella for walking around with in the sun. If a vendor at Angor Wat had been selling frilly parasols, I would have gladly paid any price. The sun here is strong and while it might make you look a bit like a fussy wimp, it's way better than passing out of heatstroke (or getting skin cancer).
In Mark Twain's "The Innocents Abroad," he writes about how he and his travelling companions go about the Herculean task of procuring soap in Europe where it seems to be an unheard-of anomaly. He devotes some amusing paragraphs to discussing how he and his companions jealously guard their soap, since it was so difficult to optain in the first place. Like Twain and other Americans who have travelled before me, I, too, have been jealously guarding the soap I bought in Cambodia. Sure, hotels have "soap" available, but it's about the size of a piece of Bazooka chewing gum. Which means it's great for slipping out of your fingers and falling down the drain, and less great for actually getting your skin clean.
5. A plastic soap box
To keep the wet soap from destroying the box it came in and getting soap all over my clothes (true story).
6. A washcloth
To use with the aforementioned soap in order to exfoliate the layers of gunk, grime, dust, dirt, exhaust and Lord-knows-what-else off my skin every night.
7. My digital SLR camera
This a big oops. I debated long and hard about which camera to bring -- my big, bulky digital SLR camera, or my old school Nikon FM2 (to shoot on film), or my little Canon powershot, or just my iPhone 6? I went with the iPhone 6, which does take great photos but definitely not the high quality shots I could get with my digital SLR camera. Granted, it's a pain to carry around, but given that this trip is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel this luxuriously, I feel silly for not having it with me. Live and learn.