Today marked Day 1 of my solo adventure in Cambodia. I have always been drawn to visit and see the Angkor Wat temple. So when I broke up with my boyfriend in October last year and suddenly had no Christmas/New Year plans I decided the best thing would go to a retreat, ta da found one in Cambodia 🥰
I added a few days before the retreat to explore and be a bit of a tourist. The itinerary for today was to watch the sunset on a river boat on Tonlé Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Asia. As it was dry season the levels were quite low and the guide pointed out people who live along the edge for fishing currently, normally end up relocating up to 10 times in a year as the rainy season causes the river to rise dramatically. We passed a floating village which even had Vietnamese and Buddhist temples along with a school.
While fascinating and interesting, two things really saddened me. The first was the amount of litter aka plastic there was floating in the river or caught on the sides amongst the tree roots and fishing nets 😔 as well as a tourist gimmick where people drive small boats next to the bigger ones and on them they have their small children with pythons drapped around their necks. The pythons mouths are tapped shut 😔😔😔 and tourists take photos and then give them money. I was deeply distressed at both the exploitation of the children and the cruelty towards the snakes. I also understand the bigger debate around ethics and deep poverty, so it’s easy for me to denounce this behaviour yet I am not the one who has ever had to go to bed with an empty stomach. That is another topic completely.
Watching the sunset from a river boat was absolutely blissful and an idyllic way to start my holiday. Did also give me the reminder of how truly blessed I am to be able to have this experience.
All my love