Cambodia is a country that enjoys many contradictions and attracts more and more visitors through its exceptional culture. Because of this background, this country must be totally exciting for young people such as James, 12 years old from Australia, who is living with his family in Siem Reap for a year. With his video “James Does Cambodia” he produced an impressive documentary about his experiences by taking the audience around and show them how he experienced Cambodia. We made an interview with him and at the end you will find also his video. Tip: Watch the video and see how James experienced Cambodia, not only with beautiful pictures but also very impressive with his own words :)

Please introduce yourself and tell us, why you stay with your family in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

My name is James Bartlett; I am 12 years old and come from Australia. My family and I have travelled to Cambodia multiple times in the past 4 years. We decided to move here for one year, seeing what opportunities arise.

With “James does Cambodia” you created an amazing video. What inspired you to produce it?

It was actually a creativity school project. I was inspired by the wonderful surroundings, different food and fun experiences that Cambodia holds, that you may not get in Australia.

Which school do you visit in Siem Reap and what is different to your school in your home country?

I am enrolled in an Australian school that is designed for long distance education, hence the name ‘Distance Education Centre Victoria’, via internet. It is harder because I do not have any friends or teachers in the room, but my parents help me. I also visit a local school that holds a Media Class, called ‘Chey School’.

Are there differences concerning to interests between your Cambodian friends and your friends in your home country? If so, can you describe?

We are interested in some similar things like soccer, but mainly not. This would be because of cultural differences, I assume. It is different because of the language barrier, as I do not speak much Khmer and my Khmer friends do not speak much English. We can still have fun together though.

Please describe a usual day in your life in Siem Reap from the beginning to the end.

I usually wake up at 7:30am and go straight to the kitchen to have some breakfast, then I would do school work for 6-7 hours, with breaks. After this my friends come to my house and we run around, go for rides, play soccer and return home at 6:00pm. I eat dinner and then play on my laptop, watch T.V or read a book. I go to bed by 9:00pm.

Please complete this sentence: “I love Cambodia, because…”

I love Cambodia, because… it’s culturally different to Australia. It has many more new things to do and the people are very interesting and kind. You can enjoy many diverse things here from temples in Siem Reap, the city life of Phnom Penh and the beaches of Kep.

Which Angkor Temple do you like most and why?

My favourite temple would have to be Preah Khan, because of the continuous doorways.

What is your favorite Khmer food?

All Khmer food is nice, but my favorite would be a pork roll, from street vendors, like the one described in my video, it costs just 35 cents.

Do you already know, what your profession will be? If so, would you like to tell us which kind of?

No, I do not have one favorite profession. I have many hopes though, such as:

  • Chef
  • Comedian
  • Motorbike rider
  • Computer programmer

Please complete this sentence: “On Sunday morning I…”

I do not have to do school, so it gives me the opportunity to do whatever I like. I can sleep in, eat crazy food from street vendors, go swimming, and listen to Khmer music.

What do you think, you will tell your family and friends in about 20 years about Cambodia?

I would probably tell people that Cambodia is one of the must-see countries of the world. I would tell them that the food, people and places are amazing.

Do you want to tell us anything else?

Yes, the things that I’m looking forward to the most back in Australia would be:

  • Good internet
  • Cold weather
  • Roast lamb
  • And seeing my old friends again.

James Does Cambodia

Thank you very much for your answers, dear James – and we are lucky for you, that you can make such a great experience in your life. And thumbs up for this fantastic video!

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  1. Great interview and film. I could imagine a little bit how daily life is happening in Cambodia. My compliment for your creative work and understanding. I really enjoyed it.

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