14+ journey-worthy photos of Cambodian daily life

Cambodia is a small country with large history, and its story is both magnificent and tragic. Todd Weselake, a travel photographer, focuses on what life is like today in this resilient kingdom in a series of images.

On paper, Cambodia’s numbers are quite unique; at 181,035 square kilometers (69,898 square miles), it is one of Asia’s smallest countries, with a population of 15 million people. That equates to 83 people per square kilometer on the ground; however, due to the Khmer Rouge’s brutal rule, more than 70% of those Khmers are under the age of 30. Moreover, despite its youth, more than 95 percent of the population adheres to the Buddhist way of life. Which makes sense, given that their legendary temples — Angkor Wat being the most well-known — continue to serve as a touchstone of national identity. Of course, I wanted to see what these numbers looked like in real life –– to feel them.

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Cambodia has fought to maintain its identity throughout its long history, from French colonization to the Vietnam War and the Khmer Rouge. Nonetheless, its people have a friendly reputation and smile from ear to ear. Above all, I wanted to see how this unwavering tenacity shaped a nation.

So I went there, camera in hand, to tell the story of how 15 million people live proudly today, incorporating centuries of history while maintaining a distinct culture.

Taking a tuk tuk around is a must.

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The durian fruit is known as the “King of Fruits” in Southeast Asia, but it certainly does not smell like royalty. Take this as a warning.

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When in Cambodia, you must see Angkor Wat. Arrive early, before the heat of the day sets in.

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Despite the fact that Angkor Wat is the most well-known temple in the Siem Reap area, there are hundreds in the area. To take a small sampling, you’ll need at least one full day.

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Tonle Sap Lake’s fishing villages await the rainy season. There can be no rice production or fishing if there is no water.

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The increasing aridity of the dry seasons is putting a strain on these agriculturally based villages.

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It is essential to visit war museums and prison camps in Cambodia in order to understand the country’s history. They reveal a bleak but all-too-real past.

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Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia. Cambodia’s capital is alive and brimming with places to visit and sights to see.

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Southeast Asia’s markets never disappoint, and Cambodia’s are no exception!

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Oh, the traffic!

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You can’t visit Cambodia without attending at least one kick-boxing match…

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The food on the street. With your choice of insects included!

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It’s finally time to cross the border into Vietnam. Keep an eye out for that blog post, which will be published soon!

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