Author Archives: Alex Watts

A Rotten Fish Pong In Battambang

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I hired a crap bicycle that kept losing a pedal and went in search of what I’d been told was one of the smelliest places in the world – Cambodia’s prahok-making hub, Phsar Prahok, on the banks of the Sangker…

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Love And Shattered Dreams In SE Asia

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This is the second part of an interview with Bangkok Noir painter Chris Coles whose new exhibition Night Vision is at Meta House, #37 Sothearos Blvd, Phnom Penh. Noir artist-witness Chris Coles has three pieces of advice for men looking…

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Bangkok’s Sex Industry – A Movie In Paintings

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This is the first part of an interview with Bangkok Noir painter Chris Coles whose new show Night Vision opens at 6pm on Friday at Meta House, #37 Sothearos Blvd, Phnom Penh. He will give a talk on “German Expressionism…

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Le Bistrot: A Rough Diamond Hidden Among Lady Bars

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I thought things were going to turn quite ugly for a second, and had visions of my iPhone being thrown on the floor and crushed under a weighty boot. I was sitting at a table at Le Bistrot de Paris,…

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A Public Flogging In Sihanoukville

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It happened when I was drinking in a bar one night in Sihanoukville. Seats emptied and expats, tourists, and Khmer staff descended into the street, attracted by the primordial sound of someone or something in pain. There were screams and…

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French Dining In Phnom Penh: Chez Gaston

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We’d been urged not to review Chez Gaston by one or two regulars who loved the place the way it was, and didn’t want it frequented by trolls. But trolls don’t eat real food, we said. They live under bridges…

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Phnom Penh Restaurant Reviews: La P’tite France

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There is a book called The Art Of Simple French Cookery by Alexander Watt, a notorious gourmet who spent much of his life lounging around in Gallic restaurants, which perfectly captures the essence of the Parisian bistro in the 1950s….

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Comedy Club Cambodia December Review: Aidan Killian

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It was all arranged at the last minute when comic Aidan Killian – who some reviewer had dubbed “Ireland’s answer to Bill Hicks” – visited a friend in Phnom Penh, who got in touch with Khmer 440’s resident poet Ned…

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Tight-Fisted Backpackers In Mondulkiri

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I was sitting in a restaurant in Mondulkiri, listening to backpackers haggling over elephant rides – “That one’s a very bullshit operation for the elephants…Yeah, but we got offered two bucks cheaper from the other guy” – when Brendan finally…

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Rude Food In Phnom Penh’s ‘Noodle Alley’

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The worst service I ever had was in London’s Chinatown. There was a cloudburst and then heavy rain so I scurried into one of the restaurants. The place was packed, and I was looking round trying to spot a table,…

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