Our Cambodian Amazing Girls had a study tour to Koh Ker and Bang Mealea temples on January 21, 2024. Koh Ker is located in Preah Vihear province which is about 120 km from Siem Reap city. The bus took about 3 hours to reach the temple area. The tour was led by KKO’s management team and a tour guide. There was a group of 21 girls from promotion 1, 2, and 3 who joined. Koh Ker, the Cambodian Archaeological site was officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List on September 17, 2023. The girls were asked to do research about the history and general information of the temples before the tour. The girls were asked a lot of questions by the tour guide and the school manager during the tour; if they knew anything about the temples. The girls gave some information and history. Both the tour guide and the school manager explained the details about the site and all the girls carefully took notes about what they heard. After that, the tour continued to Beng Mealea temple which is about 70km from Siem Reap town.
The girls enjoyed the tour very much and they were also excited and proud of seeing the beautiful temples again. Most girls have already been to those temples, but they could only see the stones of the temples, but they knew nothing about their history and related information. They learned so much from this tour. They knew why the king moved the former capital of Cambodia from Angkor to Koh Ker area and how many types of stones were used to build the temples and the details of each type. Moreover, they learnt about some of the reasons why the temples collapsed or why they were in such poor condition.
The aim of this study tour was to get the girls to understand and realize more deeply Cambodian culture and its history through visiting the ancient temples. This helped them to care more about the construction and the conservation work being done. The temples survival depends on the conservation and restoration work. And this work could not be done without people, especially the new generation like Cambodian girls. Without the big commitment of people and younger generation of Cambodia, the temples will not last as long. Many international tourists are coming to Cambodia because of the temples. No temples, no tourists which will really affect the country’s economics. What is more important, this tour allowed all Cambodian AG members to be aware of the major role of Cambodian women who took part in leading the country’s abundant culture, civilization, education, economics, and politics in the Angkor period. Additionally, the girls learnt history, such as: war, violence, and discrimination which are terrible lessons from the past for them and the nation to avoid following in the future. At the same time, they learnt a lot of great Cambodian history, which they will need to keep in mind and repeat throughout their lives.
The tour started at 6:30 am and went until 6:00 pm. Everyone was pleased. They were happy having seen some of the finest architectural temples, learning, and sharing knowledge, and having breakfast, lunch, and dinner together. It is not the end of this study tour yet. The girls were asked to write individual reports about the tour and they presented them to the class a week later. The girls will have a history quiz next Sunday, on February 04, 2024.