Keeping Connected with Cambodia During Lockdown

We are now into our fifth week of lockdown in Sydney, with a minimum of four weeks to go. The introvert in me is loving it, though the empath in me is feeling for everyone suffering.

Though as someone whose office, bedroom and lounge room consist of the same 20 square metre space, at times, life can be suffocating. I miss nature walks, I miss going to the cinema and eating my weight in popcorn, and I miss the freedom of popping down to the shops without needing to check if another householder has already used up our ‘turn’ that day. We have it better than others though, and I am in the fortunate position to have a roof over my head, plenty of food in my belly, and a ‘to be read’ pile that could last for a three year lockdown.

I also miss Cambodia.

Which is why I have put together a list of ways that you can connect with Cambodia during lockdown if you are also missing the luscious green countrysides, astonishing temples and friends like I am.

Read ‘A Woman of Angkor’ by John Burgess

This book is set in the 12th Century of Cambodia’s lost Angkor civilization. The story spans over a number of years and focuses on a beautiful woman, Sray, who is called to a life of prominence in the royal court. This book has phenomenal details, and is perfect for those interested in the history of the Angkor temples. It’s my favourite book about Cambodia, and I will certainly be reading it again during lockdown.

Listen to ‘Awaken’ by Laura Mam on Apple Music

Laura Mam is a Cambodian-American singer, songwriter, music producer, and businesswoman. She is known for being a member of the Cambodian Original Music Movement and is founder and CEO of Baramey Productions. I had the pleasure of meeting Laura at a fundraiser for Human and Hope Association, when I was in Cambodia in 2019. I fan girled a little too much.

‘Awaken’ has a mixture of Khmer and English tracks, each one addictive.

Learn About the Buried Mysteries of Angkor Wat

In this short documentary, the staggering City of the God Kings is recreated. High-end computer graphics, lavish re-enactment and the latest archaeological evidence brings Angkor Wat to stunning televisual life.

Colour Cambodian Scenery 

Human & Hope has created new digital download colouring book in partnership with designer Jaime-lee Collinson and illustrator Oliver Vincent Reyes, which includes six pages of original artwork to colour. For just $2.99 you can download the book straight away AND provide a week of education for a child living in poverty

Watch ‘First, They Killed My Father’ on Netflix

Watching this movie won’t give you all the warm and happy feels. But it may give you some perspective the different levels of suffering people experience. In this true story, a 5-year-old girl embarks on a harrowing quest for survival amid the sudden rise and terrifying reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

Make sure to have your tissues close by.

Cook Beef Lok Lak

You honestly can’t go wrong when making beef lok lak – even I nailed it on my first attempt! This recipe relies on a variety of sauces to get its intense flavouring, so make sure to take a list when you leave the house for essential shopping. If you don’t have access to Cambodia’s world-famous Kampot Pepper (we recently ran out), you can substitute with normal pepper. I recommend making this with thinly-sliced beef instead of chunks.

How else are you connecting with your favourite things and places during lockdown? Email me and let me know!