scene in Kampong Cham

Here are scenes from a recent trip to visit a colleague in Kampong Cham, Cambodia. For more photos see Keith Kelly's flickr. For some reason, the cloud formations around here are really cool, especially during the rainy season. They get big and puffy like the clouds you liked to think were bunnies or pandas or other cuddly creatures in the sky when you were a kid - cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds is what I think we used to call it in 2nd grade. It makes for dramatic sunsets. Except the rainy season has refused to come to SE Asia so far this year, and any gorgeous sunset is completely lost on our poor melting gray cells. Looking for a great meal? This coconut oil fried fish from the Two Dragons … [Read more...]

Bamboo bridges and river rafts

Would you believe this bamboo bridge in Kampong Cham has to be reconstructed from scratch at the end of each rainy season? The land shifts with the Mekong River flows, and the bamboo washes away with its floods. The folks living on the island get separated from the mainland and use boats for transport. More photos on Keith Kelly's flickr. And THIS is how they'd transport SUVs and other similarly heavy equipment across the river, by tying two boats together and nailing a wooden plank on top. I used to cringe every time I traveled this way across raging rivers over a kilometer wide, but now I know these things are indestructible. You just gotta believe. … [Read more...]

beyond Phnom Penh.. in Kampong Cham

Photos courtesy of K KellyWe just wanted to go for a walk to get some air, after two whole days indoors through several ceremonies. We attended a Buddhist ceremony in Kampong Cham for a friend's grandmother who passed away 10 years ago. This is the province with the beautiful women, according to many Khmer men in Phnom Penh. It might somewhat be validated by the recent legislative crackdown on weddings to foreigners, to prevent trafficking of women. Apparently Korean men looking for a nice obedient wife tend to look for one to buy/marry in this province, until several miraculously escaped abusive relationships in S Korea and reported it upon return. But I digress. This couple were guests at the event, and we inadvertently followed them … [Read more...]