Mar 09 2013

Go slow with a cyclo in Phnom Penh

Published by under Transport

He wants to take you for a ride.

Some forms of transport are inextricably linked with a particular place. Think yellow school buses in the United States, or a London black cab. Introduced to Phnom Penh streets in 1936, three-wheeler cyclos are recognisably Cambodian. They are still the vehicle of choice for women returning from the market with piles of groceries and older … read the full post

Feb 24 2013

Celebrity endorsements in Phnom Penh

A sign of Titanic proportions.

One of the joys of Southeast Asia is when the familiar jumps out at you from an unexpected source. Riding around Phnom Penh, I’ve realised how many celebrities are (unwittingly) lending their endorsement to hair and beauty salons, tailors and restaurants. Once noticed, it’s difficult not to get slightly obsessed about collecting examples. A consequence … read the full post

Feb 05 2013

King Father’s funeral weekend

Published by under Events

Crowds gather for a final view of the King Father

It’s been an historical weekend in Phnom Penh, as the King Father, former King Norodom Sihanouk, was finally laid to rest. Many of the rumoured 2 million mourners stayed at home and got a better view on the TV, but the streets were still full of Cambodians and a few Westerners dressed in sombre black … read the full post

Feb 01 2013

Photos: King Father’s funeral procession

Published by under Events

Many heads are better than one

On the first day of the former King Sihanouk’s funeral weekend, a procession of 2,000 people led the King Father’s coffin on a six kilometre-route around Phnom Penh. The streets were lined with mourners in black and white, who watched as the cortege made its way from the Royal Palace, via Wat Phnom and the … read the full post

Jan 16 2013

King Father’s funeral: What to expect

Published by under Phnom Penh

An original souvenir

Cambodia has been slightly subdued since the death of the beloved King Father Norodom Sihanouk in October 2012. The initial quiet intensity saw thousands of visitors burning candles outside the Royal Palace, rolling documentaries on television and a flurry of Facebook posts. Nearly three months later, mini-buses from the countryside, full of white and black … read the full post

Jan 13 2013

Cambodia and Thailand: bus routes and joint visas

Published by under Transport

Just admit it - we invented the sport!

Cambodia and Thailand have not always been the best of neighbours. In fact, they’ve often bad-mouthed each other to the rest of the local community, had arguments over quite where each of their gardens finish, and sometimes even had dust-ups in the street. Despite, or perhaps because of, much shared cultural history, feelings run deep. … read the full post

Dec 04 2012

Visiting Koh Tonsay

Published by under Islands

Where have all the rabbits gone?

With some stiff competition in the beauty pageant of Cambodian islands, Koh Tonsay is the most easily accessible from the mainland and still under-developed enough for a proper castaway experience. With no motor vehicles, no mains electricity and few residents, welcome to the simple life. Only 20 minutes’ boat ride from Kep, Koh Tonsay (Rabbit … read the full post

Nov 14 2012

Photo essay: Cambodia’s fabulous flowers

Published by under Photo

I don't know what these are, but I start to get an idea of where knicker designers get their ideas from!

One of the loveliest things about Southeast Asia is the wild abundance of flowery life, even when you’re in urban contexts like Siem Reap, where orchids (that cost less than a dollar) festoon many of the bars and restaurants. Whether you’re out on a walk, or exploring the temples, and even when you dip indoors for … read the full post

Nov 11 2012

Phnom Penh road closures

Published by under Practicalities

Coping mechanism #1: A singalong will make any traffic jam seem easier

In a perfect storm of royal mourning, sewage works and world leaders congregating in Phnom Penh, the usually slightly mad-cap affair that passes for traffic control in the city is being stretched to breaking point. There’s not much you can do except allow extra time to get to your destination, and keep a sense of … read the full post

Nov 10 2012

Homeopathic malaria pills

Published by under Health & safety

Average mosquito wingspan.

I was doing some personal research recently and came across a subject that is dear to my heart, especially after a visit from a friend of mine not so long ago. I was thrilled to see her of course; she’s a wonderful human being: smart, funny, kind and drop dead gorgeous. Come to think of … read the full post

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