Analysiscambodia cultureCommentary

Encyclopedia Cambodiana

collection of old hardcover books

Let’s be honest; Cambodia isn’t the most literary country on the planet, and it’s rare to find genuine scholarly works on the country.  As far as we are aware, there is no definitive encyclopedia on Cambodia and Cambodian culture.  The UK has Encylopedia Britannica, the US has Websters, Collins, Pears and Groliers, but our adopted home has nothing.    Until now.   Khmer440 is proud to publish the first edition of the Encylopedia Cambodiana.

ABC – Like British alkie staple Special Brew, except drunk by the rich instead of tramps.

Aeon Mall – The place to be seen and look at things.

A’jai – Scrap collectors who turn you empty beer cans into hard cash. Wheel around a handcart with a squeeker.

Anchor Beer – Pronounced An-choor, this piss in a tin can be drunk by the score, with little alcoholic effect other than wind and nausea.

Angkor Beer – As above, but with added heartburn

Angkor Wat – Stones in a field. The cash cow of Cambodia and source of national pride. A magnet for half the combined populations of China, Korea and Japan who play the popular competitive Asian sport of ‘Follow the man with the flag’ daily. The only thing Cambodia is famous for, other than child prostitution.

Ants – Forget mosquitoes, snakes and spiders, armies of the little red bastards up to the massive red bastards make life murder. Found everywhere, but most vicious in the countryside – 96% of leaves and tree bark are infested. Often hide in drying clothes, leading to painful underwear encounters. Prepare by injecting yourself with borax.

APLE – French paedo hunters, who are so good at their job they hunt paedos even within their own organisation.

ASEAN – A group of 10 South East Asian Nations who talk a lot, but get little done. Cambodia has the status of the Chinese patsy within the bloc.

Baht – Either the word for yes, or the currency of Thailand favoured in border towns such as Poipet.

Bar – Places for people to drink cheap piss. Range from a little depressing to full on suicidal depending on ambiance, staff and the mental issues and hypertension of the current owner (trying to sell, turnkey operation).

Backpackers – Mostly younger tourists with poor hygiene and little money. Commonly to be found wearing elephant pants, or dead from overdose of china white, masquerading as cocaine. Occasionally spotted baring breasts at Kampot backpacker hostels.

Barfine – A prozzie tax, payable to an establishment before you can take a bargirl out and bone her.

Bargirls – Bored provincial totty in various states of emotional meltdown. Will pretend to have a good time whilst glandular white men buy them overpriced Vodka and Red Bull. Can be persuaded to have lacklustre sex with Viagra-popping pensioners in exchange for hard cash.

Battambang – Cambodia’s second city, now overrun with artists, hipsters and stab-happy deported Californian gangbangers. Boasts a train made out of bamboo, a circus and a growing expat community so bored they drink until 10.25pm, when the town shuts.

Beggars – Should be given a kick up the backside, or ignored, or given a few hundred Riel to go away. The latter will ensure they hobble around the corner of 136 and tell the rest of the gang there’s a bleeding heart sat outside the bar eating a cheeseburger.


Beef – Meat flavoured chewing gum.

BELTEI – A famous factory school franchise with a reputation of employing degenerates as English teachers. Surprisingly good Khmer department.

Bleeding Hearts – People who genuinely believe they can save Cambodia. Normally go lop-lop trying.

Blind Singers – If 40c heat at a stubbornly red traffic light isn’t enough, somebody thought having a sightless girl screeching on a microphone accompanied by an equally disabled keyboard player would a good idea.

Boueng Kak Lake – Once the habitat of backpackers, taxi girls and iceheads, since filled in and sending the former residents out to wander the city like feral beasts. Currently a barren wasteland/construction site. Still some former residents won’t let it go and moan about progress all the way to Prey Sar.

Bokor – A famous mountain top retreat of the French. Now has a casino complex.

BKK1 – Where the posh folk live.

Buddha, The – Some enlightened prince who preached about the spiritual and the trappings of material wealth. His gold leaf statues are worshiped with gifts of material wealth.

Burger King – Now That’s What I Call Development 2014

Cambodia Daily – A local rag. Contains some local news Without Fear or Favor. Pinches the rest from international broadsheets.

Cambodian People’s Party, The – Every day is a party for these Cambodian People.

Cambodian National Rescue Party, The – The only viable political opposition planning to make Cambodia great again, restore the Ankorian Empire, take back lost territory from Vietnam and make everyone rich. One leader sipping on a Chateauneuf de Pap along the Champs Elysee, the other currently hunkered down in the HQ, getting his paperwork in order before an extended leave of absence in the big house. See Kem Sokha and Sam Rainsy

Cats – where did half their tails go?

Cashiers – The highest up on the whore scale. Will have sex for money, but not with just anyone.

Casinos – The house always wins in countries where there are laws and regulations. Waddya think’s gonna happen in a country without such statutes?

CELTA – The #1 English teaching training certificate, available in Bangkok for around $1000 and 4 weeks of precious time. Also available in Koh San Road, Bangkok, for around $25 and an hour waiting around for your name to get printed.

Chams – Native followers of Mohammed, mistrusted by the Buddhist majority because of an ability to cast magic spells and a lack of partaking in the local diet of pig flesh and booze. Any with the funds follow the hadith laid down in the Qu’aran that the faithful should drive Toyotas and display an ornate engraved silver tissue box on the rear parcel shelf.

Chen – See Chinese.

Chickens – Ensure everyone in the countryside is awake by 4.30am if the ceremonies aren’t running that day. Cambodian alarm clocks and basis for dinner. Less meat and more bones than a supermodel.

China White – Particularly strong heroin touted by tuk-tuks and the few residents left at lakeside. Allegedly sold as cocaine. Makes people die, the curious and hardened addicts alike. Even Pete Doherty wouldn’t last more than a few heavy sessions.

Chinese, The – Every February most Cambodians suddenly remember that Great-great-granny arrived on a banana boat from Yunnan, so thus can’t possibly work for that week out of respect for their ancestry. Now the big investors in all areas of society, in return for support of the global superpower’s claim to own half the sea in the world. I for one would like to welcome our new Sino master race overlords.

Choeung Ek – The killing fields.

Competent Authorities – Solvers of crimes. The police.

Corruption – A national pastime, and one of the few things the countries excels at.  Cambodia ranks 160 out of 175 on the corruption index, which, when looked at in a positive note makes it number 15 in the world – which is where Croatia team sits on the FIFA world rankings. And the competition at the top of the table is tough – Somalia, North Korea, Afghanistan. Those boys are top of their game. Go team Cambodia!

Cows – Symbols of wealth in the countryside and costing a year’s salary to a factory worker. Inexplicably allowed to wander freely and stop heavy goods vehicles on major highways. For comment on meat to bone ratio, see chickens.

Christians – Swarming towards poverty like flies to a freshly curled dog turd. Invariably seen ruddy-faced, white shortsleeve-shirted and name-badged cycling through the streets of BKK1 accompanied by obligatory token Khmer convert, silently wondering why they aren’t in their SUV.

CP – Khmer Fried Chicken.

Dailims – Motor scooters for those who can’t afford ‘the Dream’. Favoured by motodops.

Deportees – Those born in Cambodia or Thailand, allowed into the USA, failed at the American dream and forcibly sent back to their birthland. Can be spotted by their sheer size, fondness for baggy clothing and speaking in a West Coast vernacular. Khmericans.

Diarrhea – The screaming Ab-Dabs. Every mealtime is playing Russian roulette with one’s bowels

Dirtbikes – Look really cool racing around on an old Baja 250cc, less cool when standing around, broken down and needing a foot push from a Dailim. Even less cool after crashing into a Dailim, lying in a ditch with an eye popped out and having to foot blood money for the peasants you inadvertently killed.

Divorce – After 1-3 kids with his wife, a husband decides to run off with his much younger mistress and start all over again.

Dogs – Barking harbingers of disease. Shout loudly and carry a big stick. Like anything that grows, breathes or moves, can be a tasty snack.

Dollar, US – 4000 Riel +/-.

Dream, Honda – The two wheel transport of social standing.


Durian – Fruit smelling of death. Humour your Cambodian hosts by remarking on the quality of their death smelling fruit compared to death smelling fruit from Thailand, as every Khmer knows Thai durian is fit only for feeding to pigs.

Dust – Dried earth and faecal matter covers everything and penetrates harder than Ron Jeremy on 25 Kamagra.

Education – Three teachers walk into a bar. One goes ‘Ow!’ Another gets a drink. The third talks in a loud voice about how to raise it, then gets drunk and calls in sick next morning. Another calls the bar to ask the drunk teacher what an adverb is (again). See teaching.

Electricite du Cambodge – Like anything remotely French; expensive, lazy, backward and inefficient.

ELT – Another poor quality language school giving bi-monthly salaries to alkies, methpats and sex offenders.

English – The 2nd language of choice (much to the chagrin of the former colonial power- the French). “Hello, what your name?” “I miss you.” “Hey handsome man, yes, you very handsome.”  “Thanks you.”

Expats – Boozing sots, mostly found with their own tribe and sub-tribes, in their familiar territories of bars. Mostly harmless, but best avoided unless necessary. Often to be found squabbling on Khmer440, reading squabbles on Khmer440, or reading Khmer440 but sniffily denying it (see Cambodia Daily).

Facebook – What people play when they should be working. Excellent place to find and ‘Like’ pictures of decapitated moto accident victims.

Factories – Cheap sweatshops where uneducated workers toil in slave-like conditions to bolster the profits of multinational corporations like GAP. Or the fledgling beacons of a free market based economy.

Filipinos – Budget English teachers, Christian missionaries and card game scam artists.

Fish – Like it boney with essence du mud? Feel empathy as the aquatic life is smashed from its skull by a strong-armed market woman.

Foetus eggs – Tasty snacks of duck, just a few days short of breaking out, feathered and flapping.

Food Panda – Online food delivery company staffed by halfwits with the map reading skills of a kangaroo trying to find his way to Iceland.

Freelancers – Somewhere between bargirls and Taxi girls. Save on barfines but probably have anything portable stolen post coitus.

French, The – Former colonial masters, and still pissed off that nobody speaks their language anymore.

FUNCINPEC – Like bad hair cuts, shellsuits, VHS and Hulk Hogan – popular in the 90s, charmingly irrelevant today.

Funerals – Held after death, 7 days after death, 100 days after death, 1 year after death, 2 years after death and so on, until the death is forgotten or the ancestors bankrupted. Like weddings, the start early, go on for days and are very noisy.

Gap Yearers – Come to Cambodia and dig holes for poor rural villagers who will lie about in hammocks not believing their luck as young white people dig holes for them.

Gambling – When will it rain? 5/1 odds on the 4.15-4.30pm time window.

Gendarmerie – The police with big guns, don’t fuck with them.

Ganja – An ingredient in happy pizza, a traditional sup flavouring and medicine for sick farm animals. Easily available, although technically illegal. Quality ranges from high-grade chronic to stuff only suitable for feeding to pigs. Available from tuk-tuks, and happy pizza shops.

Gary Glitter – AKA Paul Gadd. Former glam rock singer who single handedly promoted Cambodia’s tourist reputation.

Golden Sorya Mall – If the concept of Dante’s hell were ever to be brought to the earth, it would have the same ambience as GSM, only with more beer, middle aged sex prowlers, fish games and sex-zombie prostitutes hooked on meth.

Ghosts – What terrifies Khmer more than anything else than traffic accidents, serious disease, death and other things that actually exist.

Grey Girls – Similar to cashiers.

Guest House – Cheap hotels where weary travellers can take a break from the road, married men can bang their mistresses, teenage lovers can get some snuggle time and youths can smoke cheap crack unmolested. Available by the hour or by the night.


Hammocks – Cambodian offices. Where the CEO, most senior family member or upholding of the law spend their time snoozing, playing facebook and giving orders to underlings. Also used at night as spare guest beds for visitors.

Happy Pizza – Traditional Italian oven based dough with sprinklings of marijuana as a psychotropic oregano substitute.

H.E.– Like Lord Voldemort and Yahweh, one should never mention this name in public. One of the world’s leading strongman, one-eyed war veteran and longest serving democratic leader after Robert Mugabe, if you do happen to utter the two three letter words, remember to include the full title, growing every year. To not do so risks a defamation case or a bullet in the head as quick as you can say ‘Kem Ley’.

Helmets – Because no one likes to see brains in the morning.

Heroin – See China white.

Ice – Either solid cubes of frozen water, added to beer to make it palatable in the provinces, or solid crystals of meth-amphetamine, smoked using elaborate water bongs and drinking straws, regularly found in small plastic pouches in the out-turned pockets of freshies and freshie girlfriends in police perp walk pics.

International Aid – Like herpes, the gift that keeps on giving. The mainstay of the Cambodian economy and a magic ATM card for the ruling elite.  See Lexus and Range Rover.  Largely provided by guilt-ridden western governments, but now increasingly the preferred sucker providers are China, Korea, Russia and Japan who can’t be arsed linking it to progress on human rights.

Jackfruit – Durian’s poor cousin.

Jungle – You’re about 20 years too late to see anything decent. Like the eponymous breakbeat techno genre, it used to be massive.

Kampong – A port. The provinces Cham, Chnang, Thom, Speu and sometimes Saom. Here be dragons.

Kampot – Cambodia’s Alabama/Royston Vasey. Home to a secretive sect of drug users, rapey bartenders and worshippers of a pineapple effigy.

Kampuchea – The land of the Khmer. Previously known as French Indochina, Khmer Republic, Democratic Kampuchea, The People’s Republic of Kampuchea and currently The Kingdom of Cambodia. Name used only by hipsters and backpackers.

Kandal – The bit outside Phnom Penh.

Kem Sokha – A dirty talking little political lover of young poontang. Will probably be in prison at time of publishing.

Kep – Makes Kampot seem interesting. Crabs live here.

Khmer – The dominant ethnic group of Cambodia. Whether to pronounce it ‘Cum-air’or ‘Cum-eye’ has been the cause of many a bar brawl between rival sets of cunning linguists.

Khmer Rouge – Ultra-nationalist, Maoist rebels, who took control of the country from 1975 to early 1979. Killed a substantial part of the population through execution and forced labour. NOT the good guys. Original home of some of today’s leaders, but let’s not go there. – A much derided website where people argue over such important topics as work-permits, the Jewish conspiracy, the price of pineapples and whether it’s actually pronounced ‘cum-eye four fortey’. And, no, we’re not telling you what the 440 refers to, so stop asking.

Khmer Times, The – The Daily Plagiarism Planet.  Resting place for articles first published in and stolen from Malaysian newspapers and student dissertations.

Kikilu– A thankfully going out of fashion saying, once popular with teenagers to describe the act of sexual intercourse. From the noise dogs make when doing it, apparently.

Killing Fields, The – See Choeung Ek. Also an award winning film about the Cambodian genocide.

KiR: Keeping it riel, a dead guy of much controversy. His ghost still haunts the internet.

Kirirom– A forested plateau, famous for its temperate climate and pine trees. Like a tropical Wales.

Klang Beer – Known as Domrei (elephant), this stronger than regular flavoured pisswater is a big favourite of rural peasants.

Koh Kong – A province next to Thailand.

Koh Rong – An island where a collective of Agatha Christie’s fictional detectives could enjoy getting their teeth into solving a series of unexplained deaths.

KTV – What passes for entertainment in Asia.

Lakeside – See Boueng Kak Lake

Lexus – The chosen Chelsea tractor for those with cash who like sitting in traffic in comfort or belting up Highway 4 at 150km/h.

Life – Cheap and often short.

Limes – Are called lemons. Nobody knows what lemons are called.

Lizards – Get everywhere and often found dead after being crushed in a doorway.

Lop-lop – How you end up after too long here.

Lucky – Either you are or you aren’t. Also a popular prefix for any sort of business, especially with the number 168, eg Lucky Lucky 168 Used Electrical Supplies and Drink, Tourism, Shop. Also abbreviation of Lucky Supermarket – overpriced supermarket notorious for packers pilfering your produce.

Mangos – Some of the world’s finest tropical fruit is produced in these climes, ruined by dipping in half a metric ton of sugar, salt and crushed chili pepper.

Maps – Confuse your motodop or tuk-tuk by showing him one.

Marriage – The ultimate aim of all Cambodian females. See divorce and mistress.

Mekong River – An impressive waterway which begins in Tibet, winds through Burma, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia before spilling out into the sea in Southern Vietnam. Getting dammed to buggery for hydroelectricity, so possibly doomed as we know it.

Meth – A Japanese invented stimulant, developed by Nazi Germany. See ice and yamma.

Mistress – Perhaps a throwback from French colonialists, every man of certain status should have one to meet in a guesthouse. Often the victims of disfigurement and murder at the hands of a jealous wife. See Piseth Pilika

Monkeys – Of the species macaque, these buggers will steal anything and bear

Mosquitos – Flying bastards. Good chance of dengue, moderate chance of malaria in some regions and now the bloody zika virus from being bitten by the winged shits.

Monsoon – Big rain May-November.

Motodop – A cheap way to drive around looking for a place the driver said ‘I know’. Also purveyors of illicit drugs and prostitutes. Budget tuk-tuks. Often double as APLE spies.

Nigerians – Fine footballers, spreaders of evangelical Christian values amongst the Cambodian poor and sometimes drug dealers, pimps and internet scammers.

Norodom – The royal house.

Norodom Sihanouk – Revered side shifting king, responsible for a lot of bad things, best chums with Kim Il-Sung and Chairman Mao. Now shuffled of his mortal coil and residing in the moon.

Norodom Sihamoni – Current king. The only monarch in the world to speak Czech, a lover of ballet. Cambodia has an elective monarchy system, where the monarch is chosen by a committee, rather than the hereditary system most commonly practiced; a peculiarity shared on with some Malay states, and Vatican city, which is appropriate as the king is about as likely to produce a legitimate heir as the pontiff.

NGO – Non-Governmental Organisation, saving Cambodia one donation and one tweet at a time.

Om – Term for a man who is older than your father, great uncle.

Oranges – Grown in Pursat and Battambang. Should be called greens for accuracy.

Ouen – Term for a girl younger than you, or term of affection for your Mrs, who is going to be younger than you anyway, unless you’re weird.

On – Term for male younger than you. A boy.

Pattaya Trash – Expat exports from across the border, the result of tightening visa laws in Thailand, now leading to tightening visa laws in Cambodia. Singlet wearers.

Pchum Benh – Cambodian Halloween, a 15 day long festival. where respects are paid to the dead and ghosts with small mouths are fed rice and sweets to keep their evil haunting manifestations placated until next year. Monks stay up all night chanting to open the gates of hell, for some reason. Uniquely Cambodian, and a major holiday around the end of September/beginning of October.

Phnom Penh – A grubby, traffic congested shit hole with some good restaurants, where most people live ‘cos that’s where the money is. The capital city.

Phnom Penh Post – Another English language rag.

Pork – The standard meat. Those with dietary requirements should check carefully.


Prahoc – Rotten fish left to ferment in the sun. Cambodian cheese. Pungent.

Poipet – Often the tourists first experience of Cambodia. A major border crossing with Thailand. Full of casinos, taxi girls and yamma. Probably the worst town in the kingdom.

Pol Pot – AKA Saloth Sar, AKA Brother Number One. Former teacher and General Secretary of the Communist Party of Cambodia. Secretive leader of the Khmer Rogue (Angkar ) movement and Democratic Republic of Kampuchea. Died near Anglong Veng aged 73.

Police – Got a crime to report? How much you pay? The competent authorities.

Poverty Porn – Pictures of starving brown children raise funds for NGOs.

Pornography – Illegal, but doesn’t stop everyone watching it on smartphones and posting their favourites on Facebook.

Prey Sar – The monkey house, the nick. Where drug dealers, sex offenders, thieves, murderers and opposition politicians end up.

Progress – Mass evictions of the poor to build condominiums, shopping malls and parking spaces for SUVs.

Pu – A man older than you, but not as old as your father. An uncle.

PUC – Pananansansssatrassa University Cambodia, see BELTEI, but without the good reputation for Khmer studies.

Pursat – An uninspiring western province.

Qingming – Chinese festival, held 15 days after spring equinox, where those who claim some sort of Chen heritage go to sweep the graves of the departed, eat broiled chicken and drink beer. Another excuse to skip work/school.

Quagmire – Most of Cambodia between May-November.

Quealys – Once a popular hole in the wall, now a less popular hole in st 172.

Range Rover – When a Lexus just isn’t showing off enough.

Rattanakiri – North eastern province with a few trees left.

Rats – Big chewing, disease spreading rodent bastards. Sometimes a tasty snack.

Rebels MC – Harmless motorcycle enthusiasts who do a lot of charity work or a ruthless meth-producing gang of outlaws. Occasionally to be found crashing their bikes into villa gates at 2am.

Red – Lucky colour, especially in string form.

Relatives – Your average Cambodian has ten to the power of twelvety brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins etc.

Rice – Breakfast, lunch, dinner, between meal snacks and pudding.

Riel – The local currency. Funny money.

Riverside – Where the flotsam and jetsam of Phnom Penh end up. Streets running off Sisowath Quay roughly from 108-240.

RCAF – The Royal Cambodian Armed Forces- Combat troops 125,000, reservists- 200,000, generals – well over 1200 generals, about 1 for every 100 rank and file soldiers.

Sam Rainsy – Bespectacled fool who has spent 20 odd years trying to play the big man at poltics with 20 odd years of failure. Spends his time in his natural habitat of France, whinging about injustice and begging for his turn to ruin the country.

Siem Reap – The tourist town close to where the rocks in the field are.

Sihanoukville – See Shitsville.

Singlets – Sleeveless T-shirts. Wifebeaters.

Singlet Brothers – Two hapless UK methheads from Bournemouth who surfaced in Cambodia in early 2015 to spend Singlet Senior’s inheritance on drugs, only to end up destitute and demanding help from the UK Embassy on the front page of the equally hapless Khmer Times. Singlet Junior is back selling dope in the UK. Singlet Senior was last seen having gone feral in the Orussey Market district.

Shitsville – The commonly used term for the port town on the Cambodian Riviera. Sihanoukville, Kampong Saom, Paradise Sur Mer.

Singapore – An independent island state where rich Cambodians go on holiday and for medical treatment. Largely built on Cambodian sand illegally dredged from Koh Kong.


Sin Sisamuth – Popular singer who infused western melodies with traditional Khmer lyrics. Killed by Khmer Rouge.

Smartphones – Everybody’s got to have one.

Snacks – To be enjoyed approximately every 90 minutes. Sold everywhere in different guises, and sometimes cunningly disguised as tarantulas and other horrible insects.

Snakes –  Can be a problem, but with a steady hand, nerves of steel and a sharp scythe, can be the solution to dinner. Tiny ones pierced onto sticks are served as snacks in beer gardens.

Sup –  Soup. Cambodians love soup, especially when its flavoured indigestible river weeds and fish skeletons.

SUV – See Lexus and Range Rover.

Tamarind – Sour tree beans.

Taxi Girls –  Street walkers, brass flutes, freelancers. Ladies of the night lower down the whorescale than bargirls. So called, because, like a taxi, a punter can hail one down, jump in, go for a ride and jump out, all for a set fare.

Teaching – White? Semi-literate? Have a drinking problem which can just about be kept under control? Cambodia needs you*! Earn $10-12 per hour Call 0800-TEFLTIME now, and live the dream like so many others!

 *Employees who upset the students by making them learn, or shit themselves and strip naked in the street under the influence of drink and drugs, may be terminated without warning.

TEFL – The poor man’s CELTA.

Thailand – The western neighbour. A bit like Cambodia, but with better food, roads, hospitals and shopping amenities, which were all stolen off the Angkorian Empire anyway.

Tonle Sap – A lake that’s just too damned big to fill in. Also the name for the river flowing out of the lake that sometimes flows backwards.

Toyota – The people’s choice of semi-affordable car ownership.

Traffic police – Just don’t stop, ever.

Twatflannel – A Douche canoe.

Tuk-tuk – A moto-scooter powered chariot, piloted by off duty policeman, APLE informant, and/or drug dealers.

United States of America – Uncle Sam has long been forgiven for carpet bombing Cambodia in the 1970s and supporting the Khmer Rouge guerillas after 1979. All imperialist Yankee tourists from Great Satan Land are free to visit on easy visas and can even spend their own greenbacks to feel at home. Aid money is dutifully requested by the government, but please, no strings attached about how it’s spent or clauses about that inconvenient human rights nonsense.

United Kingdom, Embassy of – British? In trouble? You’re fucked sonny Jim. See Singlet Brothers.

UNTAC – United Nations Transitional Authority, Cambodia. Loads of foreigners who turned up in droves, spending big bucks on a crippled country, bringing democratic elections, cholera, HIV and prostitutes, before packing up and buggering off.

Valium – Mother’s little helpers available from all good pharmacists.

Vegetables – Wash thoroughly to avoid diarrhea.

Vegetarians – A mostly alien concept. Even Buddhist monks eat flesh. Some restaurants cater for these strange people.

Viagra – Over the counter penile pills for when a stiff drink isn’t enough.

Victory Hill – A notorious outskirt of Shitsville.

Victory over Genocide Day – January 7th, when Cambodians begrudgingly admit the Vietnamese saved them from Khmer Rouge destruction. January 8th it’s business as younsual.

Vietnam – The devil’s spawn who stole the Mekong Delta, Prey Nokor (Saigon), Kampuchea Krom, that big island off Kampot, Angkor Wat etc, then halted the Pol Pot genocide, lost 30,000 troops fighting to keep Pol Pot and allied forces from retaking control and left quietly when asked to. Several million Vietnamese citizens are still in Cambodia, according to popular belief, and must be expelled, because they’re up to something.

Voluntourists – See gap yearers.


Walkabout, The – Notorious Australian-run dosshouse and 24 hour den of iniquity. Now sadly closed down..

Wat – A Buddhist pagoda. Either a place for reflection on an ancient belief system, where the young are given spiritual teachings and the elderly given shelter and alms, or a Bacchus inspired hotbed of sexy fun time, drinking and drug smoking sessions. It all depends on the chief monk.

Wat Phnom – A park in the middle of a roundabout. Home to thieving primates by day and ladies of ill repute by night..

Water Festival – Bon Om Touk, in Khmer, the end of the rainy season is celebrated by provincial peasants who flood into Phnom Penh to watch boat races. 2010 saw a horrific stampede, where 347 people were crushed to death, but locals will tell you the death toll was much higher and covered up by competent authorities.

Weddings – Expensive, obnoxious, ostentatious parties where the groom goes as Liberace and the bride as Lady Gaga, only with more costume changes. Continue for 72 hours straight. Particularly noted for inedible food (see Sup), warm beer and cans of Orange Fanta, that everyone ignores. The better weddings come complete with a shooting or two.  See marriage.

White skin – The basis on which physical beauty rests.

Whore scale – Cashiers/grey girls, bargirls, taxigirls. In descending  order.

Wife – Now only one is legal, thanks to certain randy royals. Second and subsequent ‘wives’ may only officially be mistresses now. King Sihanouk had 6 wives and over a dozen confirmed mistresses.

Worms – Parasites that live in your bottom. Albendazole treatment is recommended every 6 months or so.

Xanax – Alprazolam. In the west Xanax is highly regulated prescription drug to treat anxiety and depression. In Cambodia it can be bought for a dollar from all good pharmacies to be used for a good time or a good sleep.

Xenophobia – If you ain’t Vietnamese, you ain’t gotta worry. Unless, of course you act like a tit towards angry, white man hating tuk-tuk drivers. Or unless you’re ‘Africa Man.’

Xylophone – Known as a reneat aek, the plinky plonky tones of this percussion instrument accompanies the wailing to inform the neighbourhood that somebody has just died, died a 100 days ago or the anniversary of someone’s demise.

Yab Mong – You crazy fool.

Yamma – Like the other ice, but cheaper.

Youn – Derogatory term for a citizen of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. See Vietnam. Much-loved by Sam Rainsy.

Zombies – See Golden Sorya Mall.

Zoo – There’s a crap one at Takmao. And an even crappier one run by a Government minister at Kampot. Don’t go.

Zoophilia – Sometimes Cambodian men get caught having sex with cows.

5 thoughts on “Encyclopedia Cambodiana

  • Aspaltso

    Well done, you’ve obviously spent quite a bit of time in the Kingdom. I’d like to see some new entries in about 3-5 years time.

  • boozyoldman


    This needs more and yet more entries and additions to existing entries.

  • rainman

    Thanks Pedro, well done.

  • Reminds me how long it’s been since I genuinely laughed at something on the internet. (I think the last time may have been caused by another of Pedro’s articles.)

    Top drawer, old chap.


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