Volunteer and Intern Blog Posts

A Cambodian Memory

Written by Sorina, who was shocked at the changes in the Ocean that she saw returning to Kep after being away for 42 years. The Ocean was no longer blue, clean and or full of life.


When I was young, I remember coming every summer holidays with my whole family in Kep.

Earlier in the morning, my parents prepared everything to take with us for a family of 7 children as luggage, food, materiel, etc… and put them in our Land Rover.

We left at 4 AM before the sunrise to have fresh air on the road. So that’s why I feel on holidays when I leave everywhere early in the morning.

During our drive, we sang all the time or we asked every ten minutes to our parents when we’ll arrive.

About 4 hours after, we were more and more excited when we approached to Kep. My Dad told us to breathe deeply the ocean air which is good for our health. Then, I remember my Dad when I am on a beach everywhere in the Whole World and I breathe as he recommended us.

When we arrived at Kep, my Dad had no time to park the car, we all children jumped already in the Sea which was so good in an ideal temperature. Many French people has their habits also to come in Kep. I remember my Dad save a French young boy in trouble in the ocean.

Then, we were going to our lodge to move everything we taken from Phnom-Penh.

We were eating almost the same plates in always in the same restaurant. I didn’t remember the name of the restaurant but the plates are almost some khatna with calamar and octopus, and caramel cream as desert.

In the afternoon, after a rest, we went to the beach and swam hours and hours. We were so hungry we bought chicken grilled wings on the beach. They were so delicious…

Now I am coming back to Kep after living 42 years in France as refugee then as French people. I can remember the beach but the sea is coming brown not so clear as in my childhood. People are local and no so many tourists as before. The beach near the pier is dirty with plastics and trash.

Many beautiful villas in the past are broken and abandoned. Activity seem slowing down and Kep is no more an active ocean city as before (more than Kampomg som at 1970).

Anyway, I am confident in the future of Kep which will able to be an important point in a tourist tour if it will become a diving or snorkelling spot by saving its ocean.


                                                                                                                              Sorina PHENG TOCH

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