The Ashes

The body of former king Norodom Sihanouk was cremated last Monday. It was quite a momentous occasion, and although a supposed one million people lined the streets when his body was repatriated from Beijing in October, the funeral procession attracted far fewer people. Many streets were blocked off and it…

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Phnom Penh Pathos Part 1

Wild Turkey Man was a real grifter: he had some great tricks going. He’d hit the front of the palace running at 7.25 sharp, just as the first tourist coaches arrived. Wow, were those guys green, they’d just hit Cambodian pavement for almost the first time outside of their fancy…

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In the Cambodian Clink

Imagine a place so filthy, infested and decrepit that the Khmer Rouge didn’t want to use it as one of their torture chambers, so used it instead as a pigpen. That place was T3 prison, one of the first pieces of infrastructure built under the French protectorate. The first buildings…

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Comparing Cambodia

At a moment of huge frustration a few months back, I asked a work colleague and old friend for some advice, something I unfortunately have never really done, and besides I’ve never listened to anyone’s advice anyway. All he had to say was the simple: “Don’t let it get to…

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