Sunday, February 12

Rosenfield speaker

A survivor of the Khmer Rouge brutality, Chivy Sok, takes centre stage in a week-long symposium on genocide prevention.
"Being stripped of family or any concept of love was probably the most horrifying experience of my life. From the time you woke up to the time you went to sleep we worked digging ditches, planting and harvesting rice," she is quoted here as saying.

Thursday, February 9

Chef recalls terror

The Herald Sun piece about Hutchison's life since serving as a United Nations peacekeeper in Cambodia shows that even Australian are still feeling the effects of events in 1992.

Another view of crunchy spiders

One of our older post that rates well among folk searching Google involves fried spiders of Skoun. Ewen Bell has this offering that shows business is still booming.

Sunday, February 5

Historic trail set for tourist revival

Guy Nicholson says a long-lost stone roadway once linked the Laos ruins of Wat Phu Champasak with Cambodia's Angkor.
If it still existed today, it would be a cultural and historical superhighway comparable to the Inca Trail or the Silk Road, but the route was already long overgrown by the time the region's modern borders were drawn in the colonial era.

The revolutions of the 1970s closed temples and borders alike. Geography and security issues have long made it cumbersome and dangerous to visit these ruins as a united whole.

... When the infrastructure improves, there's every chance that tourist demand will resurrect the historic connection between Laos and Cambodia.


Thursday, February 2

Traditional salves and western methods

The International Herald Tribune offers a few sobbering figures concerning mental health in a nation of 12 million traumatized people.
A study of Cambodian refugees in the United States, published last August in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that 62 percent had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder in the past year, compared with a rate in the general American population of 3.6 percent.
Most have turned to faith healers and herbalists, as there is only 26 Cambodian psychiatrists who practice today (10 of whom have been educated abroad).

Saturday, January 28

Work starts on cement plant

Cambodia started building its largest cement factory this week - a move which should eventually make it less reliant on imports.

Cambodia consumes about 1.5 million tons of imported cement last year at an estimated cost of about $105 million.

When the factory is complete in 2008, a second $100 million has been promised for a second production line - and the combined output is expected to produce about 2 million tons of cement annually.
[A] joint venture between Thailand's Siem Cement and the local company Khaou Chully MKK Co., the factory will employ up to 400 workers.

Flaws in mass tourism

The risks and dangers of rapid tourism development - especially in World Heritage Sites such as Angkor Wat in Siem Reap - is highlighted in this report marking a decade since 10 countries banded together to market venues within the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) as a major holiday destinations.
World Heritage Sites will be in danger if current tourism management practices continue without change. Instead of tourism adding value to cultural sites, it will lessen the overall value and visitor experience of the site.
Management of the World Heritage Site Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia illustrates some of these dangerous trends. Visitor arrivals for 2004 were nearly 800,000, and the target for 2010 is 2.5 million. Yet, certain visitors are already complaining about the crowded conditions at Angkor, indicating that the carrying capacity may have been reached under current conditions. In addition, visitors have placed excessive pressure on the local water supply, and water shortages are now common in Siem Reap.
More than 100,000 local people, many of them unauthorised, are now living within the protected zone and are placing further pressure on the dwindling water supply. The town of Siem Reap is undergoing unprecedented economic tourism development, including the establishment of large numbers of hotels aimed at mass tourism. The tourism authorities are targeting mass tourism, especially from China (PRC), Japan and Korea (ROK). The increase in these tourist numbers is also triggering a development in the local night entertainment industry which brings with it some negative social impacts.

(- quotes from the Travel Daily News)

Saturday, January 21

No surprises ahead

Xinhua and the People's Daily makes this string of predictions about the forthcoming election. It claims:
... analysts here saying that it is the election without suspense with everyone knowing the results already.

Friday, January 20

Koh Rong island

Russian investor Konstantin Kagalovsky has reported met with Hun Sen at the premier's home to talk about plans to make the island off the coast of Sihanoukville into special economic zones.

It just a fortnight, it can be seen in links from this blog that the area has moved from being "the next Goa, the new Phi Phi" to a haven for foreign investment.