Vichea Tes - Assistant Marketing Manager, Phare, The Cambodian Circus

Vichea Tes – Phare, The Cambodian Circus

Vichea Tes – Assistant Marketing Manager, Phare, The Cambodian Circus

In this interview, Vichea Tes, assistant marketing manager for Phare, The Cambodian Circus, in Siem Reap, shares some behind-the-scenes stories.

What do you do?

I help promote Phare Circus’ incredible shows and share the stories of our talented artists and Phare’s missions. I manage social media channels, create creative content, and collaborate with the team ​and artists on diverse projects and with different media to ensure everyone knows about Phare’s incredible work.

How did you get into the industry?

Growing up in Battambang, I saw many children’s challenges in Cambodia. While I was fortunate to have a family that could send me to school, many weren’t as lucky. Witnessing the positive transformation of young people who joined Phare Ponleu Selpak, a non-profit organization providing education and artistic training to underprivileged youth, truly inspired me. After working in travel and tourism for several years at EXO Travel Cambodia, I knew I wanted to contribute to a cause that empowered young people and showcased Cambodian culture. Joining Phare, The Cambodian Circus, felt like the perfect fit.

Share with us a story from behind the scenes.

One of my favourite things is seeing the camaraderie between Phare artists. Although they all come from different backgrounds, they become one close-knit family at Phare.

What food memory from your childhood or travels stands out?

There’s nothing quite like a steaming bowl of Samlor Kor Ko! This fish soup with herbs and vegetables is a staple in Cambodian cuisine, and it reminds me of cozy family dinners back home in Battambang. I try to find local versions of this dish whenever I travel to experience the different regional variations.

What’s the best/ worst part of your job?

The best part, hands down, is witnessing the life transformation of Phare’s artists. Sharing the power of Phare’s artistry and social impact with the world and learning about the artists’ journeys is incredibly rewarding. I love seeing a full big top and the audience captivated by the show.

The toughest part? Sometimes, there are long hours and juggling multiple projects, but it’s all worth it when you see the positive change Phare creates.

What’s something that visitors should not miss when visiting your city?

Siem Reap is often called the “cultural city” of Cambodia, and for good reason! It has a slower pace than Phnom Penh, but it has beautiful cultural/historical sites and a vibrant arts scene. Visitors shouldn’t miss Angkor temples and, of course, the Phare Circus show, which is a truly magical experience.

One of Vichea Tes’ favourite food and beverage pairings?

A refreshing glass of iced jasmine tea with a plate of Num Banh Chok (Cambodian rice noodles with fish curry).

What’s one of the wildest things you’ve seen behind the scenes?

The wildest thing is the dedication and athleticism of our performers, which never cease to amaze me. They push their boundaries every day, and it’s truly awe-inspiring to witness.

The perfect day off would be…

Exploring the Cambodian countryside on a motorbike or bicycle, stopping at hidden temples and soaking up the beautiful scenery. A delicious local lunch and a refreshing swim would top it all off.

A day in the life of a Vichea Tes is…

It is a dynamic mix of creative brainstorming, social media management, collaborating with the team, and sometimes even helping out at the venue and meeting media people.

What does Vichea Tes do for fun?

I love spending time with family and friends. We enjoy exploring Siem Reap’s hidden gems, trying new restaurants, and catching local live performances.

What would you like guests to know about Phare, The Cambodian Circus?

Phare is more than just a circus; it’s a social enterprise that empowers young Cambodians through artistic training and education. By attending a show, you’re not just enjoying a performance; you’re supporting a worthy cause of Phare Ponleu Selpak in Battambang that provides free education and artistic training to underprivileged Cambodian youth, equipping them with valuable skills and a brighter future.

How have you grown in your profession? What have you learned from your start in the industry until now? Are there any misconceptions?

Coming from a travel background, I’ve learned so much about storytelling and the power of connecting with people through emotions and experiences. Working at Phare has also deepened my appreciation for social responsibility and the impact businesses can have on their communities. It’s not just about posting pretty pictures on social media. Reaching the right audience and achieving marketing goals takes a strategic approach, data analysis, and a creative mind.

What do you want people to know about being in marketing as a profession?

It’s a fast-paced and ever-evolving field. To keep up with the latest trends and platforms, you need to be creative, adaptable, and a quick learner.

What’s your view on the art scene in Siem Reap?

The arts scene in Siem Reap is vibrant and diverse! There’s something for everyone, from traditional Cambodian dances to contemporary art galleries. Phare, The Cambodian Circus, is proud to be a part of this lively cultural landscape.

What practices do you currently implement or hope to implement to work towards social responsibility and sustainability in the future?

Phare, The Cambodian Circus, is deeply committed to social responsibility. Phare’s mission is to empower young Cambodians through artistic training and education, providing them a brighter future. Phare is also committed to using eco-friendly practices whenever possible. We’re also exploring ways to support local Cambodian businesses.

What can guests look forward to in the upcoming months?

The exciting return of our beloved “Sokha” show, featuring breathtaking acrobatics, live music, and a powerful story that reflects Cambodia’s recent history! We’re also thrilled to announce a refresh of our iconic big top in mid-June, creating an even more immersive experience for audiences.

Read more interviews like this with Vichea Tes here, and stay updated with the latest gourmet and travel recommendations here and here.

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