Photographer's Note

.Take 2 (Click the number for info of entire trip)

This is the second of my report on our "pocket-size mission to Chong Kneas, Cambodia" that will be a multi-day posting that we hope to be helpful to those who wish to follow our steps.

After my visit to Chong Kneas in March 2005, I posted on TrekEarth a theme named Floating Misery reflecting the miserable status of Vietnamese people living in this floating village over Tonle Sap Great Lake. The serial of pictures and texts came to the attention of some of my co-workers at Alcon Laboratories and other friends at TrekEarth. Then they heard that I am going to return to the same destination. Each of them separately contacted me and asked if I could receive and relay their donations in cash then select the best way to place the help directly into the hands of these human beings…

At the second leg of my trip while in Vietnam, due to my father's illness that consumed an unexpected week of mine, I wished I could abort the return to Cambodia. However, I already had in hands the donations that I didn't beg for — and most important, I have accepted to hand over the help. This turned my travel into a must-mission of humanitarian that forced me to make a express trip to destination where we only discovered the danger during the night we spent there. But the story is long…

The date is still Saturday March 17, 2007.

When the Cambodian Immigration Officer completed the mass inspection the passports, we got back to the bus and were driven about 1 mile and were dropped off again at a chain of restaurants along the National Road 1 inside Cambodia territory. One of the crew stayed and waited to pick up the passports for us, after being stamped. This saved us time to wait for stamp one by one on each passport at border crossing, then to have to wait again for lunch.

I took this picture at one of the restaurants where we waited. All passengers ordered their meals in a rush. I didn’t feel enough hungry, so I fed this for my camera. On the restaurant’s table, I found the bottle of soy sauce imported from Vietnam next to a can of Angkor beer brewed in Sihanook Ville. The official currency circulates in the country is American dollar. Cambodian riel is in use only as small changes. Even with the beggars, the choice is obvious, “Give me a dollar!”

Reporting from the border where three cultures blend.

Welcome to Kingdom of Cambodia!


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Additional Photos by Ngy Thanh (ngythanh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 472 W: 125 N: 2331] (8456)
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