I am now in the Philippines, but my blog is lagging some way behind. It’s still stuck back in Cambodia somewhere. So I hope you’ll forgive me for getting a little un-chronological here, but I’d like to post some photos that I uploaded to Flickr a few days ago, and offer something by way of commentary to expand on the previous mention in my Rough Guide to Cambodia blog.

Tim, aka TC, was my guide while I was in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. He arranged with his photographer friend, Nathan Horton, for us to visit Silk Island, just an hour or so from the jetty in the centre of the city, but a world away in terms of the pace of life. Apparently they only got electricity here within the last 10 years.

Nathan regularly takes groups of aspiring travel photographers to the island, so the people there know him well, and certainly seemed very comfortable with us taking pictures of them – particularly when

A proper little Cambodian princess!

shown the resulting images on the back of our digital cameras. Children and adults alike seemed to get a kick out of it.

My favourite image from that day, though, could not be fully captured on digital film. It was the sound of children’s laughter. We came across a group of girls and boys, giggling hysterically over the sight of a boy with a cardboard box on his head, pretending to be a Chinese dragon. Other boys joined in to form the dragon’s tail, while a small makeshift band provided musical accompaniment on a range of improvised percussion instruments. The overall effect was surprisingly good, and easily recognisable as the kind of dragon you would see in any Chinese street parade.

The kids were absolutely loving it, and their sheer joie de vivre was contagious – neighbours gathered to watch and join in the laughter.

And of course my inner environmentalist was pleased to note that the “toy” was completely biodegradable, as well as offering far more entertainment value than toys costing many times as much. No plastic, no toxic paint, no wasteful packaging. Just one increasingly battered cardboard box – and a generous dollop of childish imagination.

Other notes on Cambodia:

Something amusing I forgot to mention in my previous blog, so I mention it here in case you missed it in the

The Chinese dragon (aka a cardboard box)

comments: the two main brands of beer in Cambodia are Angkor and Anchor. Try pronouncing them out loud. Yup, they sound exactly the same. So to avoid confusion, Angkor is pronounced Ang-kor and Anchor is pronounced An-chor.

And something else you need to know – exercise caution if ordering a “special pizza”. It may be a little more special than you anticipated, being topped with, ahem, something to make you feel happy. I didn’t try it, but apparently the effects take a while to kick in, as the pizza is slowly digested. Probably best not tried shortly before flying. And no, I don’t think weed counts as one of your five portions of veg for the day….

[Photo credits: Nathan Horton and Roz Savage]

Big smiles
Who needs plastic toys?
Boy in a box: an aspiring TV presenter??!
Smiling Filipino eyes


  • Nice pictures as always Roz. They remind me of my childhood which was a much simpler time in Midwest America where we as kids always made up our adventures without the help of TV, commercial toys or a group organizer. I sure miss those days and feel sorry that most of our children today will never know that experience.
    We humans seem to pollute everything including our children!

  • Roz. Thank you for those sweet innocent pictures. You have a knack of finding the meaningful picyures, like that sea turtle for one. It shows the sweetness in you. No wonder there are thousands of people that love you.Lots of love, Dully.

  • Hi Joan – I’m using a Canon G9 that was given to me by a friend at TED Mission Blue. She also gave me a waterproof housing, so it’s the same camera I have been using underwater.

    I think Nathan was using a high-end Canon.

    Although the G9 is great, I miss having full SLR-standard control over aperture – it only offers about 4 aperture settings. But most of all I miss wideangle lenses. I believe there is an attachment for the G9 that enables this. I may have to treat myself!

  • As always, Roz, you capture the moment and people. In this case kids. Hey, I did notice the box for the dragon is a wine box…hmmm that and special pizza…no wonder everyone is happy. As to simple items…my kids always entertained themselves with the box the Christmas gifts came in…better than the gift. We won’t talk about my youth 🙂

  • Greetings Roz,
    Great travel pics and updates.I know you are giving back as much as your are receiving each day. Congrats.

    For your followers and friends. They can down load the new lester brown book – plan 4.0 for free(pdf).. , from his web site.

    Enjoy, have fun and be safe..ish

    to your journey,

  • Roz, I’m thinking your f/ limitations may be being inhibited by some other settings like ISO and the light conditions you’re in. Have you tried using it in Av (aperture priority) or M (manual) mode? It looks like the widest open you can get is 2.8, but you should be able to get much smaller aperture settings, at least down to f/22. Of course, you won’t ever get the nice soft shallow depth of field of an SLR lens. Just something to explore the next time you’re out in bright sunlight. And don’t forget that you can capture movies with that camera, so you can get video with sound if you like.

  • Come on, everyone, there must be something of Roz’s that you’d like to have. Maybe something that she wore while crossing an ocean. Pin it to a wall to impress your friends. Who knows, maybe by the time you’re all grown up it will be worth a huge sum to collectors!

  • Roz What happens to the videos that disappear from utube? There was one of my favorites…….you were in the cabin saying you were red all over from sunburn. Several others, including the time you were on your friends plastic bottle boat. Lots of love, Dully

  • Hi Dully – we felt that there was too much “clutter” on my YouTube channel, so we did a bit of housekeeping to direct newcomers to what we felt were the best videos. I had no idea that anybody would even notice that the others had gone!

    They are still there, just set to “private”. Maybe we will put them back online once my US speaking tour is over at the end of October.


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