Making a Splash at Kampong Saom
Twice a year all of the families in Sovann Komar take a trip to the beach together. This is an important bonding experience for our families and their children as well as some much needed rest and relaxation. Schools in Cambodia are open from Monday until Saturday so our children love to take a long weekend down at the beach. Here’s what happened on our last trip.
Dubbed Sihanoukville by the West, Kampong Saom is Cambodia’s premier coastal destination. Situated about 200 kilometres from Phnom Penh, the white sandy beaches are always popular with Khmers and tourists alike. In late February, Sovann Komar travelled down to Kampong Saom by bus, setting out early in the morning to make the most of our time outside the city.
Once we arrived at the beach, we set up camp in a Khmer style restaurant right on the sandy shore. As there are so many of us, we had the place to ourselves and created our own community for the next two days. The children love to play in the water and as soon as we arrived, many of them headed into the surf. The Gulf of Thailand boarders Cambodia and the waters are calm and warm. With a shallow gradient and a soft, sandy floor, the water is very safe for the children to play in. We also provide life jackets for those who are less confident in the water and there is always an adult present with many more watching on.
For lunch the families ate a selection of seafood which can be bought from sellers strolling up and down the beach. Fresh grilled squid, steamed prawns and other delicacies were all smothered in chilli sauce and eaten with rice. An after-lunch snack of ice cream was then in order for many children; a special holiday treat.
The lazy afternoon saw more swimming, sandcastle building and generally relaxing in the ocean breeze. With no obligations and no set activities, the weekend is always great recuperation time, both for the parents and the children. Sunday morning saw much the same as Saturday and the children spent a lot of time in the sea. Growing in confidence every time they enter the water, our children are quickly becoming strong, competent swimmers.
After lunch on Sunday we headed back to the city. While the bus ride there was filled with karaoke performances, the return journey is always quieter. The children are rested but tired, content but exhausted from their fun days in the sun. We arrived at Sovann Komar in the early evening, ready to return to our daily lives with renewed energy and reaffirmed family bonds. Here are some photos from our trip.