The rice fields along the southern coastal region of Cambodia are bursting with their new yields.
Everywhere I cycled on my way here, I saw communities working together to get the rice harvested. Men shucked and sacked the newly harvested rice plants, which were cut by the women of the villages. Sons rode up and down the roads on motorbike delivering pots of food to both their parents. Some daughters were in the fields. Others were assigned duties at home.
Harvesting rice on the large scale grown in the coastal rice fields of southern Cambodia requires a collective effort of many individuals to harvest.
I personally had never been so informed of the exact nature of the harvest process, so the past days’ cycling was quite an education.
An inspiring experience. And even though I sometimes got in the way by making a wrong turn and ending up face to face with two oxen pulling a huge cart of newly cut rice, everyone just laughed and I was allowed to pass to see the pagoda, cave, or temple that happened to also be on their land.
I am now in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, one of many coastal resort areas along Cambodia’s beautiful south coast. There are millions of tourists in SE Asia right now, and for the past days, it felt like all of them were in Cambodia.
Sihanoukville is sold out. I was lucky to find a room. One of the last remaining.
Visitors are coming not only for New Years but also for Cambodia’s very own annual Sea Festival, which also is held this time of year in these coastal provinces. The air is charged with fun and festivity. The first fireworks are being fired off right now as I type this post. People are happy. Cambodians are making money.
It appears that Cambodia’s stunning coasts are now a second profitable ‘rice bowl’ for this region.
And that … is a good thing.