Death Highway Revisited

It is now about 13 years since I travelled from Sen Monorom, the capital of Mondulkiri Province to Banlung, the capital of Ratanakiri Province. This road was nicknamed The Death Highway by Matt “Jake” Jacobson, the author of Cambodia’s best ever guide books, Adventure Cambodia and Ultimate Cambodia. Jake and…

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The Fairytale Complex: 419s in Cambodia

As the western target market has become more aware, with only the really, really stupid and old folk with Alzheimer’s responding to African princes, new markets and opportunities are emerging where uneducated folk are given access to the internet without a crash course on who roams cyberspace looking to make a fraudulent buck or three. Word is slowly getting out, thanks to community phone in programmes on ABC Radio, but when I get asked whether a 6 headed naga caught in Kampong Cham going viral on Facebook is real, or if the Zika virus had been really been sprayed over Phnom Penh by Vietnamese agents, then it’s pretty safe to bet that safe internet safety steps are still in their infancy in Cambodia.

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Cambodia graduates from Low Income Country status – how will that affect international aid?

There is a concern that Cambodia’s graduation to LMIC status means it is likely to lose a large amount of much needed aid. A number of leading international NGOs have spoken out recently about the classification process in general, and how it is linked to aid. It is feared that by ‘graduating’ and losing access to still very much needed aid dollars, there is an increased risk to reverse growth trends and then ‘reverse graduate’ and fall back down the ladder.

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Dying to get to work

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.

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Is Eric David Erdmann a falsely accused victim of mistaken identity, or a lying fugitive child sex offender?

In late March, a new Khmer440 poster with the username “sniper_m4” started a topic in our discussion forums about “Being Followed.” Sniper_m4 expressed concern that a tuk tuk driver recently told his wife that he was being followed by Actions pour les Enfants (“APLE”), a well known pedophile-hunting, child protection NGO.

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Restaurant review – Topaz

It was with slight trepidation that I went to Topaz a couple of weeks ago. On one hand it is consistently mentioned as one of Phnom Penh’s best restaurants; on the other hand a semicolon barely separates that statement from it being Phnom Penh’s most expensive restaurant. It was Wednesday,…

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The pastor and the monster

Christopher LaPel’s father was a Brahman priest serving Cambodia’s king in his role as the earthly incarnation of the god Vishnu. Imagine the shock and horror, therefore, when one evening at dinner he saw a cross hanging around his son’s neck: “One day while our family had supper …  I…

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