Tag Archives: Alex Watts


Tight-Fisted Backpackers In Mondulkiri

mond1

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’

noodle alley (1)

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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In Defence Of Cambodian Cooking (With Apologies To George Orwell)

New marketing campaign for prohok

There has been a lot of talk over the years about the need to attract more foreign visitors to Cambodia. But there is something its people could bring a much-needed change to – and that is cooking. It is often…

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Why Cambodia Isn’t A Playground

lexus 570

There was a documentary I saw about Spike Milligan and the depression that had blighted much of his life. He’d been brought up in India and moved to England when he was 15. It had a terrible effect on him….

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Is Phnom Penh Really Being Overrun By Filipino Blackjack Gangs?

alex filipino

I take everything I read in the Phnom Penh Post with a large bucket of salt, especially after noticing it couldn’t even get the date right on the front page a couple of months back. I’ve had fun spotting appalling…

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Damming The Mekong: Cambodia Facing A Thai-Made ‘Catastrophe’

clearing road at xayaburi dam

Weighing up short-term economic gains against long-term environmental costs is always a thorny issue in geopolitics. But when the profits are reaped in one country and the ecological costs are suffered in another, then it’s all the more problematic. There…

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Cambodia’s Booming – So Why Is It The ‘Least Thriving Country In The World’?

old woman

I read a column in the Bangkok Post this week, entitled Poor Cambodia Not Looking So ‘Poor’ Anymore, which began as a thank you letter congratulating Cambodian PM Hun Sen for his hospitality during the ASEAN summit. The letter took…

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‘Sotheby’s Tried To Sell $3m Khmer Statue – And Knew It Was Stolen’

Khmer statue (1)

The 1,000-year-old temple guardian was meant to “convey power over malicious demons, thereby offering comfort for devotees,” according to Sotheby’s sales blurb. But it’s certainly not bringing any comfort to the world-famous auctioneers following allegations it put the statue up…

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Cambodia’s Big Role To Play In The South China Sea Conflict

south china sea dispute

The last time a Chinese Head of State visited Cambodia was 12 years ago, so the timing of President Hu Jintao’s visit just four days before Cambodia chairs a major regional summit may be a coincidence. But no doubt his…

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The Factory Shooting Farce & Why Cambodia Needs An Aung San Suu Kyi

alex bavet

I read an interesting interview at the weekend with a Khmer academic living in America who warns that Cambodia desperately needs an Aung San Suu Kyi or Nelson Mandela figure to protect the rights of its down-trodden people. The country…

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