Without an H

Photography from south-east Asia by Jon Sanwell

Tour de Cambodge


I think Cambodians may be the friendliest people on Earth – and those in rural communities may be the friendliest people in Cambodia. In the countryside around Kratie, I encountered hospitality, curiosity and bemusement in roughly equal measure. Small children lined up at the roadside to high-five me as I cycled past. When I stopped to wander through a village, adults asked questions about where I was from and what I was doing there, and often encouraged me to photograph them or their friends.

I’ll never never be much of an athlete, but travelling by bicycle is probably my favourite way of getting out into the countryside. I like not having to rely on someone else to show me the sights and being able to stop whenever I choose. It helps that the landscape in this part of Cambodia is pretty much flat as well – no gruelling hill climbs for me, although there are plenty of small angry dogs and perilous pot-holes to avoid. The only racing I did was against the weather, sprinting back to town before the regular afternoon deluge set in.

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11 Responses to “Tour de Cambodge”

  1. Alan P.

    It’s good exercise to travel between towns that’re not too far i guess. I’d do that here in Hong Kong if the downtown has more biking facilities. The biking alone is already fun. It really reminds me when I biked to campus years ago except I did not ever photograph.

  2. Helen Butterworth

    Amazing, as ever. I need a map of your travels. Have you biked the whole time?

    • Jon Sanwell

      Thanks Helen. Since Jinghong, in southern China, I’ve more or less been following the Mekong river south, which I’ll carry on doing until I get to the Mekong delta. But no, I’ve not been cycling the whole way, that would be far too much like hard work. I’ve been travelling from place to place by bus, and boat when possible, but have been hiring bicycles for afternoon excursions. Glad you’re enjoying the blog, and hope all is well.


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