Wandering Story: Kathom Village, Cambodia
November 16, 2016
Not far from Pol Village of Krong Samraong province (where Greenway School is set in) lies a hidden, beautiful and magical Khtom Village. One fine evening, Tim (a long-time teacher at Greenway School) and I set out to find a beautiful spot to watch the sunset. Tim had planned everything out by the time already. Getting stuck in rain along the way wasn’t part of the plan as the weather forecast read clear skies all day long. We saw a fast approaching rain cloud with wind drifting it west towards us, we decided to take shelter in a monastery.
The downpour was short-lived but we took the opportunity to watch kids playing by the water puddle and people driving in the rain and in no hurry -it wouldn’t be the same back in “my world”, where everyone would rush for shelter. With that setting the mood up for the sunset, we knew we’d have a bit of drama in the sky with the clouds drifting into the sunset. As we approached the lake, the very first view at Khatom took my breath away as it was adorned with lotus and with people driving across a barge running west to cross the lake. With the sun beaming out of the clouds before sunset, we took a quick opportunity to take a picture of all the drama going around and was even more excited to go for the sunset.
With Tim planning out the right spot, we head out to a Monastery just across the lake and what seemed to be a fishing shelter or just a cool building in the middle of the lake. A lone hammock on it earned all my envy for the person living there!
We quickly set up our pods to capture the already golden sun across the horizon with palms and coconut trees lining the horizon.
It was pure magic, to say the least, the sun lit up a huge mass of clouds right above it throwing up a hundred shades of orange and purple across a span of ten minutes would just put you at peace with all the hassles and worries you have.
Time warped around and I stopped taking pictures to enjoy the sunset and taking it in as much as possible. As the sun went down, even bigger things awaited as the moon rose just behind us lighting up the sky in blue once again, and stars across the canopy with almost no light pollution – Khatom village is mostly off the grid with no electricity.
We quickly turned east for the moon rise to watch an almost clear starry night sky was a humbling experience and a beautiful reminder of how tiny and an insignificant cosmic dust we are.
An hour went past unnoticed with absolute silence and still water, tranquillity personified. Clouds rolled over the almost full moon and across the horizon and no experience has put me at peace as much as this little-known place in the middle of nowhere.
While the world goes crazy over Augmented Reality games, politics, war, gadgets, money and more and more “things”, Cambodia is truly blessed with nature and people who are happy with the very little things they have, for none has told them that they need to be rich to be happy. As for Khatom – it will hold a special place in me.