Welcome to my blog where I write about all sorts of random things regarding life as an expat in Cambodia. I am currently living in Kampot, working as a freelance writer and running an education outreach program based in a children’s village. Cliché? Perhaps, but I will endeavour to post witty, insightful, and interesting blog entries about what I get up to over the forthcoming year … or longer.

So I’m Ruth, I’m 27 and have a Masters by Research in history, and I’m obsessed with Cambodia. In fact it was the subject of my 58,000 word thesis I completed in August 2014. I believe myself to have a fairly comprehensive knowledge of the country’s recent history and culture today but continue to learn and strengthen my understanding with each passing day. If you’re interested in travel, the expat lifestyle, charity work, South East Asia (and Cambodia more specifically), recent historical events, and random musings then I’d like to think this blog is for you.

Giving Nimol a piggy back through the shallows of the Mekong river in 2012.

Me giving a friend a piggy back through the shallows of the Mekong river in 2012.

You can find more in-depth information in “About Me“, check out snaps in my “Photo Gallery“, and scroll through my “Blog Posts“.


12 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. Emma harris

    Hi Ruth,
    I have only read a little so far but have really enjoyed your blog! My name is Emma I work with your cousin Michelle in petersfield. She has told me lots about you! I am leaving the UK for south east Asia on the 1st of October with my boyfriend Reece. We plan to be in Asia for 6months. We have been looking at various charity projects and want to avoid the voluntourism cliches if possible. Michelle said it would be worth contacting you as you might need a little help with your outreach education program or if not might know of some places we could lend a hand in Cambodia?
    Emma 😄 X


    • Hi Emma,

      Yes, Michelle messaged me about you coming to Cambodia soon. I run a charity myself as Michelle may have mentioned and as of literally yesterday we are partnering with a school in Kampong Speu province who are looking for volunteer teachers. I’ve just got back from visiting the school and will be putting together all the information about the school/work/accommodation etc over the next day or so. Would you like me to email this document to the address above? I’m really excited about the project and I think it will be great fun.




      • Emma

        Yes that would be amazing! I am a Physio and Reece is an electrician, we both love children and enjoy teaching our niece and nephew but have no specific teaching experience is that a problem?! We would love to help in any way we can so look forward to hearing more about it!

        Emma X


  2. Olivia

    Hi Ruth, I found your blog when I was trying to find a way to purchase protec helmets for the students at the school I work at in Phnom Penh. How did you manage to order them? It’s not very clear on the protec website. Thanks so much! Olivia


    • Hi Olivia,

      Firstly, good luck with your project – road safety here is such an issue and I’m glad others are making steps to keep kids safe.

      Secondly, yes, you need to contact AIP here rather than Protec. I dealt with Sophal Sim who has great English. This is his email: sophal.sim@aipf-cambodia.org. I also went down to visit their offices which is just off street 173 although I’ve forgotten the cross street and I can’t find his business card. Anyway, you should be able to get hold of him through the email. Let me know if you need any more help. Good luck!



  3. Hi Ruth,
    I was recommended to speak to you by David Calver as in August I am flying out to Honduras where I will be volunteering as a full time teacher for 12 months with the educational charity Project Trust. I’m really excited! However, my main challenge is fundraising before I leave, so I was just wondering if you had any tips?
    Many thanks,


    • Hi Charlotte,

      I feel your pain. I spend most of my time fundraising for my own charity now and it is a lot of hard work. Your trip sounds great though! I have several friends who did years in South America with Project Trust and loved it. Good luck!

      For my own gap year I personally fundraised a lot of my money through a sponsored cycle ride (which I actually did from Oban after a selection weekend for Project Trust). To be honest, however, I raised about half the money myself just through work. I had been saving for two years and didn’t leave on my gap year until January so worked full time for 4 months before leaving. Have you tried contacting your high school about a non-uniform day? £1 per child is always an easy way to make money and doesn’t require much organisation. Otherwise, I’d suggest contacting local Rotary groups to see if they’d be willing to sponsor you in exchange for regular updates of your trip. They’re always keen to support young people doing exciting and adventurous things.

      If you want more advice, feel free to email me: ruthlemonresearch@gmail.com

      Best wishes,



      • Hi Ruth,

        It is definitely a challenge, but worth doing! Thank you so much for the advice and I will be sure to contact you if I have any more questions.
        All the best,


  4. hi there ,im thinking of retiring this year and looking for things to do and maybe do some volunteering and was thinking of going to Cambodia as I have not been there before .I am based in Australia but have an office in hong kong where I might also use as a base to travel from .thinking how I could use my skillset to help .was looking at a abc program with Geraldine doogue about a sister helping out in a camp and made me a bit sad …anyways any thoughts where I could help ?


    • Hi Robin,
      I’m sure I could advise you on some volunteer opportunities. What exactly is your skill set and what sort of time scale are you considering your volunteer work to be covering?


  5. Hi Ruth
    I’m working as a Foreign Language Programme Director with a school in Siem Reap. We follow the British curriculum as best we can 🙂 . Any ideas how I could go about getting a link with a school in London or the home counties?


    • Hi Terry,

      I’m afraid I don’t know much about linking with schools. I know iCan in Phnom Penh is an accredited international school following the British curriculum. They may be able to offer some advice. Alternatively, tap into personal connections in the UK and see if you have any contacts within a school who could kick-start a relationship for you that way.

      Good luck!

      Best wishes,



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