The Country Side | Cambodia

Dear Friends,

We are still in wonderful Cambodia and having an amazing time!
The other day we decided to take the offer from our super nice TukTukDriver to come to his home and meet his family as well as having dinner together. Imagine a taxi driver in Munich takes you home for dinner. No way! The hospitality is amazing from these Asian people.
Bent, our driver, is living 25km outside of P.P. and with us was a nice friend of Bent who badly wanted to join us. How come? :-)
We bought some food and beer for dinner on the way there and his wife was cooking two different meals. Vegetable with meat and without. Ingo was with Bent buying the meat and due to tons of flies we stick to the veg food :-)
It was a great evening and we talked a lot. About the history (Khmer Rouge) and about today’s political situation. Life is not easy here for the locals. We were happy and thankful to got this opportunity to see how people live outside of P.P.

the kitchen and the living room is outside but really comfortable

our delicious dinner

The nice family of our tuktuk driver Bent infront of the new house and his tuktuk


Down in Phnom Penh we again met our Dutch friends to brainstorm about our film project and get serious about it. We wanted to do a short film about Cambodia which shows how people live here. What we needed was a fixer, a guide which brings us to a place we have in mind. We started a threat in the lonely planet forum and we got several tips and hints. This forum is great, people really respond fast and most of them know what day are talking about. One guy gave us a really cool tip to find a great guide in P.P. to get into the real Cambodia. This was exactly what we wanted to get great footage for the short film.

We went to the recommended place, La Cantina, it’s on the river side and we met the owner Hurley – what a cool guy! He is really laid-back! Stuck here in Cambodia in the early 90s as a journalist. With him that night were a lot of young film guys and journalists as well as fixers. Everybody was having a good time and Hurley was telling a lot of great stories. This man has seen a lot here. We spoke about our ideas and the results of our brainstorming and Hurley immediately handed us over a business card from Sereyvuth Kem aka Srah or simply call him “The Dude!” Srah is Cambodian and he acted in two different hollywood movies (City of Ghosts, Holly), and Hurley said he should be our “man” … and if nothing else was true he told us that night, what we are sure is not the case, then Srah was definitely the best guy we have ever met in this country!

Two days later, Michael, Juliën and we went up at 6 am to drive with Srah in his home village (Tramkak Distict,Takeo province). We lived there in his wooden hut, and explored the beautiful village with our cameras. The experience was awesome, it was great to feel the real Cambodia and the locals welcomed us with open arms! Two days on the county side and a lot of film footage later, we went back to our guesthouse in P.P.
We are really getting friends, all of us, and we missed Srah in the first hours after the farewell. He is such a great guide, taxi driver, translator and in general a real all around good and honest person…it was a pleasure to meet him! At this point we want to thank him once again. If anyone of you out there is visiting Cambodia, not just P.P. he drives everywhere. Be sure that you check out his website and give Srah a call to drive you for one or two days, or a week or longer :-) He is not cheap, but no doubt that it was more than worth the money.

our home for the two days, Srah’s wooden house

the little “actors”

behind the scenes…filming on the ricefields – the most important thing in a village peolple life

short creative break with some rice wine (in the green plastic)

the kids were awsome, behind and infront of the cameras

Mr. Bo, the village head :-)

the “big love school”, a englisch school for the village kids, we were a really good diversion for them :-)

shooting for our short film, just so much fun with this cool kids

buying some food on the market for our cooking session in the eve

cooking in the kitchen of Srah´s sister

we liked our selfcooked food :-)

Julien enjoyed a small snack after lunch, called “monster egg”. It is an embryo egg (a cooked baby chicken is inside) and he just win the bet ;-)…oooh it was really disgusting

next day we had a early wake up call (5 a.m) to catch the sunrise and use the best light for shooting

intereview with a “hero” of the village. we are not sure what is true about this man. you may find a lot of stories via google and we also got personal emails from aggrieved people. we might find out when we come back one day.

we bought 150 notebooks and pens. its just a drop in a bucket but the kids were really happy about it. it was good to see that you can please sombebody with such (for us) “normal” things.

in the evening, after high school, the older teenager visiting the englisch school. we joined them and were part of the class. a lot of things to ask :-)

interview with “the dude”


All in all, this trip was one of the best experiences so far, for all of us. Not just on our trip, in our entire life.

Meanwhile we left Phnom Penh to go further and see the Angkor Temples near Siem Reap. It’s amazing here. Amazing historical architecture! But this is a different story ,mhm maybe same same, but different :-)

Greetings from Siem Reap
Carmen and Ingo

PS: find more words about the country side activities and BTS beneath the pictures
PPS: the Dutch guys arrived the other day here in SR, and we are finishing off the edit today, first cut looks great. So stay tuned for our short film!

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  • Reply
    12. November 2010 at 7:39

    finde eure unterstützung der kinder wirklich toll! bilder wieder mal extrem ausdrucksstark und mitnehmend.. viel spaß beim weiter knipsen u. reisen :)

  • Reply
    12. November 2010 at 8:33

    wiedermal supertolle fotos!!! bin schon gespannt auf den film!

  • Reply
    12. November 2010 at 10:02

    “Monster Egg” … ewwwwhh …!
    Gan tolle Bilder – bin schon so auf den Shortfilm gespannt.
    Viele liebe Grüße

  • Reply
    The Joy of Living | A Cambodian Village Portrait | [CP] Caringo Photografix Blog
    3. December 2010 at 17:33

    […] Kraakhelder Productions aka the Dutch guys, we spent two days in the Cambodian country side as we blogged already here. Here is the […]

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