It’s not only the increased focus on ‘flygskam’ and the environmental benefits of travelling by train. We’ve always been fascinated with train travel and epic railway journeys. From Thomas Cook and the first excursions by train to the heydays of train travel, it conjures up images of early adventurers exploring new and exciting places suitcase in hand. Rather than getting on a plane we’ve often talked about doing the Trans-Siberian Railway from Cambodia back to Europe via Vietnam, China and Mongolia.
Culminating with celebrations across the country on the 15th day of the tenth month in the Cambodian (Khmer) calendar, Pchum Ben (បុណ្យភ្ជុំបិណ្ឌ) is one of the biggest and most important religious festivals in Cambodia.
Aiming to provide a platform for local artist to share their experience, skills and talent, Khmer Art Connections is a Social Enterprise offering interactive arts and crafts classes for locals and visitors to Siem Reap.
Founder and director Samnieng Roun is very excited as he tells us how the initial idea was to connect talented and promising local artists with local people and visitors interested in traditional arts and crafts, as well as different painting, wood carving and iron sketching techniques.
From choosing local goods over packaged imports to carrying reusable water bottles and bags, there are many ways in which we all can contribute to make our holidays greener and – ultimately – help create better places to live in, and better places to visit.
Just over ten years ago, we first met Billy Gorter, Founder and Executive Director of This Life Cambodia (TLC) in Siem Reap, Cambodia. We still remember his excitement and enthusiasm when he first told us about how he was approached by members of a community just outside the centre of Siem Reap who had big dreams of starting a community centre in their village.
For the past ten years, the team at Soria Moria Boutique Hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia, have been welcoming guests from all over the world. Whether it’s staying guests, local project partners or the wonderful members of staff, people have always been at the heart of Soria Moria’s business model.
It’s been 3 years since I was last here in Siem Reap and I was expecting more tourists, more hotels and restaurants, but what I wasn’t expecting to see were less bicycles. There does seem an ever larger circle of expats, who are cycling but anything with an engine is by far the most preferred mode of transport.
This November sees a range of anniversaries and celebrations within the fields of responsible travel and tourism. World Travel Market in London will mark 20 years of Responsible Tourism and celebrate 10 years of World Responsible Tourism Day since the start in 2006.
I held fond memories of my travels through South East Asia. The grind of city living and 9-5 was taking it’s toll on my natural state of wanderlust. I wanted to explore, adventure, learn – and throw myself in the deep end of a wild experience. My teenage dream to live and work in a developing country was still in the forefront of my mind. As a strong willed young woman, I knew I would see my dream into fruition – I just hadn’t worked out how to yet.
Flat on my back, I lay there, in the darkness, looking up on what reminded me of a bridal veil just about a meter above my head. It was slightly lit up by the bright light bulb on the outside. Bugs were dancing in the beam of light. Dogs were barking in the distance. A noisy motor boat was passing by, and seconds later the small, rapid waves hit the platform. I could hear the wings of insects that were swirling around. My nose was filled by the smell of my own sweat and mosquito repellent.