Pursat – More Than a Transit

Most people, including me, would pass by Pursat, rather than staying there overnight. This time around, as part of my personal, annual solo retreat, I made up my mind to visit this little-discovered province, for a couple of days. Although my main destination was Osoam commune, I was recommended by our community leader, Mr. NUON Lim, to pay a short visit at Thmor Da cascades. This site surprised me a bit as little did I learn that this part of Pursat lies near Thailand. As usual, after enjoying myself with a few hidden natural sites, I came back to civilization with some spiritual takeaways about lives.

1- Nature Predicts Behaviors of All Beings

My core trip would not start until Day 2, as I dedicated my first day mainly to traveling and sightseeing on 1,500 Mountain and its refreshing cascades. Before I reached my first destination, Old Village, with my local guide in his seventies, both edible fruit orchards and remnant forest trees led our way there. These latter species actually reminded me of human behaviors. Mreum Preh stands tall, but empty with its deep cavity. In life, some people boast about their material possessions while in financial cavity! The rare plant like cardamoms is comparable to loyal followers. In fact, this plant would choose to stay under mild or warm leadership of another tree.

2- A Little Courage Makes a Great Milestone

Later on, I spent my afternoon, discovering Chhay Proy waterfall, across two hydro power dams. This took us about an hour from the communal center to get there. From atop, the pour looks 10 meters tall, which made me reluctant to go down the stream! After some snapshots, I asked my guide if he could lead me there and if we may find leeches along the path. Of course, he gave me two Yeses. The second of which seemed to scare me off, while mesmerized with this hidden beauty! Anyway, to make my trip worthwhile, I took the risk to get down with him. Once at the bottom of the fall, I could not help but splash around and find my stress removed! Then, I realized I can always get whatever I want if I calculate the risk to face, with the support of a reliable partner/consultant.

Before splashing under Chhay Proy…

3- Responsibility also Applies to Our Environment

As we can tell, Pursat is relatively little uncovered. Yet, every “tourist” site I reach over there feels familiar, shockingly with trash! I’m not blaming any Cambodian, nor calling myself an “ultra-environmentalist”. Yet, I personally feel responsible for such waste. So I’d rather carry it with me until I find a proper bin (unless it is bio-degradable). I believe if we keep this considerate manner everywhere we go, those sites will remain as clean as hundreds of years later. Wouldn’t you want your children to smell the authentic nature, instead of human-made disarray?!

Grassland on the way to Old Village

4- External Forces Matter, if Constructive

It is worth noting that my guide used to be a mountain crocodile ranger. For some superstitious reason, he switched his role in the last few years. So I called myself lucky with him as my company. He also briefed me on his work with WildAid. This organization, run by Western expats, is established to protect wild lives and precious tree species. In the past, half of them also worked for “foreigners”, yet in a non-conservative way! Then, I realize we may need outsiders to “teach” us how important our internal resources are. As such, we can conserve them better for our next generations.

My guide, aka Ta 97 as called by B. Lim!

5- Synergy Means Greater Shared Strengths, Not Equal

My final day was meant for my return to Phnom Penh. Somehow, on my way back, I shared my ride with a farm owner (not a farmer!). He happened to share a relevant business insight with our pick-up truck driver, for our financial practices. That is, if you own a hectare of land worth US$1 million, your potential partner should come with US$1 million to claim the 50% share with you. In this instance, if s/he proposes only US$0.5 million to the business stake, that wouldn’t be called a fair deal. This seems to prove to me our asset is not necessarily measured in money, but also in convertible value.

Through my co-passenger and our driver

To wrap up this update, Pursat covers a sizable amount of natural resources for us to discover “within”. I think it is important to enjoy them without depleting them and come away with spiritual lessons, not irresponsible marks! And if you need a few tips about a similar retreat (if not an adventure), drop your comments below or inbox my Facebook Page!

PS: Here’s a bonus video for your effort to read this post through 🙂

Welcome to Chhay Proy!