Category Archives: provinces

Back on track in Cambodia

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For me, the sight that most encapsulated the rebirth of passenger services in Cambodia was the two young children, travelling on a train for the very first time, accompanied by their grandfather or great-grandfather. The looks of awe and excitement…

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Dying to get to work

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The most lethal challenge to Cambodian workers comes not from poor ventilation or industrial machinery, but the challenge of getting to and from the sweatshops 6 days a week. It’s kinda a case of hard work never killed anyone, but the commute might just be deadly. Continue reading

Posted in Analysis, cambodia culture, Commentary, factories, Phnom Penh, provinces |

The Mekong Mutilator, part deux

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Me and Strange Dave got bored one day in Battambang, bought a telescopic rod and some tackle, a bag of mealworms as bait and got permission to fish in a small pond where huge fish could be seen basking on the surface. After hours of chain smoking and drinking warm cans we had nada, not even a nibble, when along came the Khmer crocodile lady and scooped up a respectably dinner sized specimen with her hands. With her fucking hands! Continue reading

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Khmer don’t need no education

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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

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British man Nick Laycock arrested for rape in Kampot

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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…

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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

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Twilight of the haunted headwaters of Virachey National Park?

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As we followed along we came upon a strange tree carving. It was a sketch of a primitive-looking man knifed into the bark of tree. It gave me a strange feeling, and my old Brao friend Kam-la was disturbed by it. “He says it is a sign of the spirits of Haling-Halang,” Sou translated. Kam-la looked down and muttered a few more words while looking nervously at his feet. “And he says it might also be a sign of the Tek-Tek.” Kam-la was scared. Continue reading

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The palm wine story – nature’s gift to boozers

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Out past the dusty roadside town of Chbar Morn, the provincial capital with a market and not much else going for it save Phnom Penh to the west and Sihanoukville port to the south-east, between the hills, sprouting rice crops and mango orchards overloaded with green fruit lives Mr Sambath, an aficionado of all things palm tree and member of the guild of neak leung tnout. He makes his living as a tapper. Continue reading

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An interview with a spirit

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There are many kinds of spirit in Cambodia. One of the most important is the boramey, a powerful and benevolent supernatural being who works to help humans in this world through a human representative. The representative is possessed by the boramey and becomes the boramey for the duration of the possession. An academic who has studied spirit-possession says there are over ten thousand boramey in Cambodia, all of them named and identifiable. Continue reading

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Under the ink: Tola, The Village Tattooist

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Nowadays it seems as if every man, woman and his/her dog in the western world is ‘inked up’. The last couple of decades have seen an explosion of ‘body art’. Gone are the days when tattoo parlours were the domain of Maoris, pissed up sailors and those used to taking regular holidays in Her Majesty’s finest institutions. From sports stars to Hollywood A-Z listers and right down to sink hole estate trash, everyone has gone under the needle. Continue reading

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