Welcome Back! Or welcome me back I should say.
MoMu went into winter hibernation as I took a little life retreat and buying trip back to Asia. Most of the time was spent in Cambodia where I went off the grid in a small remote village near the northwest Thai border called Banteay Chhmar. It is my happiest place. Three years ago I backpacked through Cambodia and upon the suggestions of some local Peace Corps volunteers, took the long and somewhat arduous journey to this village where I completely fell in love.
It has zero conveniences of the modern world. There is no running water or proper electricity and showers consist of buckets of cold, dirty rainfall collection. But it has the most beautiful, humble, happy and generous people I’ve ever encountered. It also has an ancient Angkor temple that brings in off the beat travellers. A few years ago some locals got together and created a community based tourism organization that trains local people to be cooks, homestays and tour guides to create an infrastructure that accommodates tourists. In addition to providing jobs for villagers, the group uses part of their income to help improve the community.
Three years ago this group of wonderful people welcomed me into their village and left me with one the greatest travel experiences I’d ever had. I always wanted to return so when life sent me back to Asia and with a few months to spare, I went back to volunteer. I was mostly teaching English helping the local librarian who teaches language classes to some children. I also hooked up with the French NGO Enfants du Mekong down the road to teach computer skills classes to high schoolers. The entire experience was insane but wonderful and goes down as the happiest I’ve probably ever been in life. It also doubled my source material for the travel novel I’ve yet to write with all the bizarrity and lost in translation experiences. Expect some posts with some of those soon.
While this trip I mostly stayed put in Banteay Chhmar with the exception of a few jaunts to Siem Reap for a shower and hot water, I still got a proper dose of the colorful beauty Cambodia has to offer. So I leave you with a piece of my heart and the colors of Cambodia.
all photos my own.
all photos my own