Oh Cambodia. You have been on my mind ever since I left your lush shores. Haunting me with your rustic beauty, deeply sad history, and relentlessly smiling faces.
I’ve been writing a lot about Cambodia this week, and my story about Chhlong, a gorgeous Cambodian colonial riverside town, was published in Traveller over the weekend. So it makes perfect sense to end the week by releasing this little film I created about my time in the Kingdom.
Highlights? How do I choose. Perhaps it’s easier to talk about lessons learnt.
Exploring the 12th century Angkor Wat temple complex, the world’s biggest religious monument which took hundreds of thousands of people 37 years to create, was a lesson in patience and the importance of paying attention to the finer details in life.
Seeing glimpses of the critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphin in a World Wildlife Fund protected area of the Mekong gave me hope for the future. A heart-shattering walk through the Killing Fields, where more than a million people were killed by the brutal Khmer Rouge regime in the late 70s, reminded me of the importance of tolerance and learning from our mistakes.
Meanwhile, local villages filled with palms and breezy stilted houses, and remote monasteries inhabited by giggly young turmeric-robed monks, were examples of how little in life we really need to be happy.
Our time together was brief, Cambodia. But you have stayed with me, for all that you taught me and so very much more.
See you again soon, I hope.