Cambodia and the Coronavirus Podcast

Welcome to the first ever Travel Begins at 40 podcast – Cambodia and the Coronavirus - with Nick Ray of Hanuman Travel and Mark Bibby Jackson.

Southeast Asia

Welcome to the first ever Travel Begins at 40 podcast – Cambodia and the Coronavirus. I’m Mark Bibby Jackson, one of the founders of the website as well as a person who holds the Kingdom of Cambodia close to my heart having lived there for the best part of a decade.

Listen to the episode here:

With me for our inaugural podcast is Nick Ray, who has lived in Cambodia for far more years than his youthful looks would suggest – the wonders of podcasts – writing the Lonely Planet guides to the country, helping to run local travel company Hanuman with his wife, the talented film director Kulikar Sotho, and fixing film shoots from Tomb Raider to Top Gear.

But we are not here to talk about Angelina Jolie. Instead our little chat today is on a far more serious topic – Cambodia and the Coronavirus – and in line with government guidelines we are keeping at least two continents apart. For while I am in the wilds of Essex in England, Nick is joining us from the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.

In our first Travel Begins at 40 podcast we will discuss:

  • the impact that COVID-19 has had on Cambodia, both in terms of the relatively low number of cases recorded in the kingdom, as well as upon the tourism industry;
  • how much faith we should place in official government figures;
  • what the West can learn from Cambodia’s response to COVID-19;
  • current travel restrictions to Cambodia; and
  • what is the future for tourism in the southeast Asian nation.

Nick has recently returned to the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh from Siem Reap, where he visited the now deserted temples of Angkor. His advice is, once it is safe to resume travelling, to visit Siem Reap yourself. This really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm away from the tourist crowds.

Let’s hope the situation soon improves in both Cambodia and the rest of the word, and we will once more be able to explore this most wonderful Asian country. In the meantime, Keep Safe and Save Lives.

Background image c. Nathan Horton Photography

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Mark Bibby Jackson

Mark Bibby Jackson

Before setting up Travel Begins at 40, Mark was the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia and a freelance travel writer. When he is not packing and unpacking his travelling bag, Mark writes novels, including To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice. He loves walking, eating, tasting beer, isolation and arthouse movies, as well as talking to strangers on planes, buses and trains whenever possible. Most at home when not at home.

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5 thoughts on “Cambodia and the Coronavirus Podcast

  1. I was worried about the impact on Cambodia, so that’s an interesting conversation on the mix of (protective?) factors there. Also so sad to hear about the economy. Good tip for next travel destination once things ease up around the world(?!).

  2. I was in cambo back in january for a month.When i got back to uk had diarrhea,night sweats,face rash,tight chest and aching muscles. went to phnom phen,kampot,snooky and siem reap. Internal flights with wuhan clang!!

    1. did you get tested – could well be dengue fever or something other than COVID19 – not that I am a doctor.

  3. Fascinating podcast thanks Mark and Nick. Very interesting to reflect on the situation in Cambodia compared to much of the rest of the world and what that might mean. It’s about time Cambodia caught a break.

    1. Thanks – really pleased you enjoyed it. Yes, hopefully Cambodia will bounce back strongly from the current situation.

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