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The tourist, the guide

Som Kanika / Khmer Times Share:
With her helmet and her motorcycle, Dy Malyneth roams around the Kingdom to discover hidden gems. Photos: Supplied

From mere passion to eventually succeeding in it, Dy Malyneth has gone far in her endeavour to promote local tourism.

Ever since she was a child, Malyneth has always been fond of everything about Cambodia. To document all that she sees, Malyneth captures photographs that depict joy and beauty – or even the opposites. She takes pride in putting people’s smiles and nature’s charm into her still frames.

But Malyneth’s not the one to just end in collecting photographs. She stepped up her passion five years ago when she started producing and directing her own tourism show, Go! Go! Go! Around Cambodia, in CTV9.

Go! Go! Go! Around Cambodia, shown every Thursday evening, is a unique TV show promoting Cambodia’s scenic spots – from the world-renowned Angkor Wat to the lesser known temples and landscapes in small villages in Mondulkiri. The show aspires to promote ecotourism to local and foreign visitors.

Malyneth shared that she thought of creating the show as a way of going beyond her passion in photography.

“I grew up loving photography. I like capturing real-life circumstances – people’s smiles, nature, wildlife and local lifestyle. I also love meeting new people in new places. It makes me happy if I make new friends and build good relationships with people in provinces and cities I visit.

“With all these passion and inspiration in my life, I combine them together to create a show where people can see many interesting facts about Cambodia’s natural attractions such as nature and wildlife, and the reality of people living in a particular place and ecosystem. I know many fascinating parks and places in Cambodia that have not gained much attention yet. I want people to see their beauty. With my show, it’s as if I am touring them around those captivating places.”

But even with Malyneth’s uttered dedication in her passion and work, her job in the entertainment industry comes with challenges. She said that gender equality is still an issue in show business, much more among higher ranks. She shared that are only too few female producers and directors in films, music and television industries.

“I have encountered many challenges in this field. One of which is the criticisms I received from the people around me. With the kind of work that I have, I go out on field to direct and monitor people. That’s the nature of my job, which many people think is more suitable for men. However, I believe that such stigma should not be tolerated in this modern age. I want to prove that I can work on this field as much as men.”

Equipped with her helmet, Malyneth travels to places on her motorbike. She goes to narrow streets and deep valleys to discover hidden gems which she can then show to her loyal audience.

Malyneth got her outgoing personality and strong heart from her own ‘heroine’ – her mother, the person who taught her to be courageous in life and to fight against all odds to reach her dreams. “My mother is a doctor. She used to travel thousands of miles away to help and save people’s lives. Her strong will of helping the society, her independence and the way she handles herself inspired me a lot to become who I am now. Because of her, I found the courage to fight for what I want to achieve in life.”

It surely does take certain grace and strength to become who you are and to do what you want in a society that tries to dictate your every move. But as long as you don’t give up, there will always be light in the way.

“I would like to encourage all the women out there to go out and see the world. Don’t let your country become a prison that confines you there forever, please go out and see the world, there are so many interesting things and you are capable of witnessing them all you’re your own eyes. You are not born as a bird in the cage. You are majestic and are born with freedom, choice and power. You need to step out and do what you want to do.”

Malyneth plans to continue her two missions: to empower women in the entertainment industry to take bigger roles, and to let people see the true splendour of Cambodia through her show.

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