project review

Working hard in Cambodia

Review submitted by Laura Deigan
Review date 14 Dec 2010

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The trip to Cambodia was amazing! It was a lot of hard work and you certainly drop a couple of dress sizes when going on transects, but its worth every minute.


The people were amazing, both the team and the Khmer's who helped us out when ever they could with beaming grins.


The country is beautiful, from the floating villages to "mountain ranges" over the tonal sap river and of course the majestic Angkor Wat, that I would suggest staying an extra week after the phase to go visit. Trust me you will need a week to see everything.


The most exciting thing about the trip is the concept that no one else from the western world has travelled to where you are going. You personally will be the first to step foot in these areas to conduct the first baseline surveys.


Which also means you will be the first "Berang" (foreigner) the locals would have ever seen, so expect some stares and looks of shock and you walk past.


The trip is a lot of hard work, more than you would be used to with building camp, cooking on open fires and at times conducting transect that can take up most of the day, plus the food, unless you are close to a village or port that you can re-supply, will be very basic. So no take away pizza I'm afraid!


However I can promise its worth it. You will meet some amazing people and you will make friends for life, become a more confident person, learn a language if you try and learn so much.


Do remember however that you are conducting the first surveys in your area, so no one knows what animals to expect. I was lucky as Kampong Leng was the home to otters, fishing cats, wild pig, terrapins, open bills and many more. However you might not be as lucky...or you could see more.
That's the nature of science.


Cambodia is a country that has finaly come to life after so much strife and is fully aware of it heritage and determined to preserve it. Its an exciting time and it was a pleasure to be part of it!

Find out more about the Cambodia Tropical Wildlife Conservation and Adventure project.