Author Archives: Tim LaRocco

The Muslim Cham in Cambodia


Would the Cham become more assertive or even more extremist if their population were larger? It is perhaps a moot point when discussing a minority group representing just over 1% of the national population, a demographic reality not likely to change anytime soon. For the moment, Cambodia looks like a beacon of religious tolerance and freedom, the nation’s xenophobia and exophthalmic rage aimed more in the direction of the local Vietnamese community. Continue reading

Posted in Analysis, cambodia culture, Commentary, religion | Tagged , , , , ,

The Executioners


Here is the big question: how and why did a Buddhist nation produce one of the 20th century’s worst genocides, and one which is marked by so many horrific instances of cruelty and savage violence? A whole chapter in my…

Posted in Analysis, cambodia culture, Commentary, Khmer Rouge, khmer superstition, politics | Tagged , , , ,

To live and die in South East Asia


Death and taxes are the only things certain in life so they reckon. Well death anyway: some people never pay taxes. Where you choose to live invariably impacts on where you’re likely to die and, in some cases, how. Some…

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Convicted UK paedophile Paul Prestidge arrested in Phnom Penh


A convicted British paedophile has been arrested at his home in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district after UK authorities asked their Cambodian counterparts to keep on eye on his activities. Paul Prestidge, 35, from Plymouth in the UK, was convicted…

Posted in News, teaching, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Khmer don’t need no education


Last year almost 75% of grade 12 students across the country failed their final exams after an anti-corruption drive, which was deemed rather unsporting, as every other grade 12 student in previous years had lied, bribed and cheated in order to pass with flying colours. Somebody must take the blame, and as usual shit always rolls downhill, from the MoEYaS, to the provincial education offices, to the school directors, to the teachers and perhaps the students themselves. Continue reading

Posted in Analysis, cambodia culture, khmer superstition, provinces, teaching | Tagged , ,

Angkor Away on Cambo-Fiction


Steven W. Palmer’s “Angkor Away” comes out just as the Kampot Readers and Writers Festival is about to put Cambodia on the literary map, so now is a good moment to review how Cambodia looks in English-language fiction. Continue reading

Posted in Analysis, Art, Book review, cambodia culture, Commentary | Tagged , , ,

Phnom Penh’s urban artistic renaissance


Phnom Penh is enjoying an urban artistic renaissance, a revitalisation of Khmer contemporary music and art culture which is as fast and exciting as the development of the capital itself. The reasons for this revival are numerous and complicated, but it includes the influence of the increasing presence of international artists, a vibrant local art and music scene and numerous organisations who aim to encourage and rejuvenate Khmer artistic expression. Continue reading

Posted in Analysis, architecture, Art, cambodia culture, Cambodian music, Commentary, Events | Tagged , , , , , ,

British man Nick Laycock arrested for rape in Kampot


A young British man has been arrested for allegedly raping a female tourist – also from Britain – at the Arcadia Guesthouse in Kampot on Friday night. Nick Laycock, 25, is from Berkshire in the UK and has been in…

Posted in News, provinces | Tagged , , , ,

Scambodia, uncovered

Cambodian woman with pineapple.

Visitors and expats alike have many a tale of being hoodwinked in the Kingdom of Wonder. Whilst the Siem Reap milk scam, the Filipino blackjack shysters and an army of Chinese fake monks fill the forums and travel blogs, it seems like every man and his pig is in the business of relieving white folk of their hard earned dollar bills. Continue reading

Posted in Analysis, cambodia culture, Expat Life, Food, Phnom Penh, provinces, teaching, village life | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

The hidden gems of Toul Sleng


Between the main expat hubs of BKK1 and Russian Market there is the Toul Sleng area – a neighbourhood with a diverse mix of Khmer, Vietnamese and barang inhabitants. There, you’ll find a handful of underrated and unknown restaurants and cafes. Mostly, they are family-run establishments serving homemade fare to ardent regulars. Continue reading

Posted in Expat Life, Food, Phnom Penh, Restaurant Reviews, Reviews | Tagged , , , ,