Temples and the Countryside in Cambodia
Wendy spent two months in Cambodia in 2016 traveling from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville. Along the way, she worked with tour companies capturing imagery around Angkor Wat and other temples, visited villages in the countryside and toured salt farms and pepper plantations near Kampot. The majority of her time was spent working with an anti-sex trafficking NGO in Sihanoukville, creating imagery for their marketing materials and donor projects. She was featured by the Simon SAID blog about her travels through the country.
Constructed around 1150 and later abandoned in the 15th century, Angkor Wat was discovered in 1860 by a French explorer named Henri Mouhot who wrote, “It is grander than anything left to us by Greece or Rome”. It’s wild to think that for centuries these vast temples laid hidden in Cambodian jungles, only seen by local villagers and monks passing through.
My favorite part of travel is connecting with the local community and seeing how they live. One of my most memorable days was going to the countryside and taking an oxen cart ride while learning about the village's organic farm. I was also able to meet some of the farmers and learn about their way of life.
A different day, we walked through another village and these goofballs followed us the entire way, giggling and trying to hold hands. For a country that lost 1/5 of its population not even 50 years ago, these kids infuse hope back into broken families and lives.
Anyone not aware of Cambodian history, the Khmer Rouge, a communist regime led by Pol Pot, carried out mass genocide between 1975 to 1979. People died from starvation and execution with close to 2 million people innocently losing their lives. It’s our responsibility as travelers to learn, educate and bear witness to the events that are happening in the world.
"Cambodia's best kept secret might be this beautiful white sand beach in the south on Koh Rong Island."
"Dear Cambodia, I didn't expect you would impact me in so many ways. For all the horror you went through, my heart breaks with you. Thank you for your smiles when passing through your villages, showing me your grand architecture and sharing in the beauty of your dreamy islands. I know this is just the first of many visits to come."