Asian-focused but broad subject matter - sport, travel, crime, environment et al. Datelines from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Cambodia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Japan and Malaysia. Ex-Cambodia Daily
Back in the halcyon days of my first few months in Cambodia in 2014, when political discussion among local colleagues still included optimism for the future and there were far fewer coffee shops, I first visited Sambor Prei Kuk in Kampong Thom province while en-route to Preah Vihear.
Down a potholed village road in Preah Vihear province in northern Cambodia, in what can accurately be described as ‘the middle of nowhere,’ you’ll find BeTreed Adventures, an excellent ecotourism project focusing on conservation and community development, with an environmental protection mandate over a vast swathe of forest.
The Preah Khan temple complex in Preah Vihear province is huge, nearly two square miles, making it the largest of the Angkorian religious sites. Yet thanks to its remote location down bumpy unpaved roads, it wasn’t properly documented until the mid-20th century, and was only properly looted in the late 1990s with the end of the Khmer Rouge.
Preah Khan Kampong Svay (its more impressive, full name) sits, confusingly, in Preah Vihear province, not Kampong Svay.
Name three facts about money in Cambodia’s past, present or future. Go on, I dare you. Fine, I’ll start. Did you know that the Angkorian Empire largely used a barter system and forswore cash? Or that when the riel was re-introduced in 1980 it was pegged against rice (1 kilogram of rice was equal to 1 riel)? Or that the Khmer Rouge printed millions of dollars worth of banknotes in China, and then promptly blew up the National Bank of Cambodia and banned money for a few years?
Eco-tourism in Cambodia’s Areng Valley is attracting domestic tourism and saving the forest.
How eco-tourism saved this stunning Cambodian valley and is key to attracting visitors back after Covid-19
One of the leading eco-tourism locations in Cambodia, the Areng Valley is home to animals hunted to near extinction elsewhere in the country. Domestic tourists are starting to return, bringing much-needed income to locals who could start exploiting the forests again if desperate.
Life in Cambodia for the Cambodian-Vietnamese community has been one of hardship, persecution and even genocide. Long accused of being a fifth column for neighbouring Vietnam – a group of subversive agents who attempt to undermine the nation’s solidarity – the Vietnamese who call Cambodia home do not want to leave – even if they could.
Cycling in Cambodia: what a bike trip to Phnom Penh’s newest tourist attraction reveals about how lives in the capital are changing
The new US$12 million Win-Win Memorial in the capital’s north provides an enticing destination for one Phnom Penh resident fresh off self-imposed isolation
Relentless development means modest village areas where children still play by river banks may not survive much longer
Motorcycles didn’t become popular in the Philippines until the 1990s, but today there are more than 18 million bikers
A large carving of a reclining Buddha is one of the latest ancient sites discovered in Cambodia as locals scour the country for lost history. Many hope such finds will help create long-term growth in tourism in the poor Southeast Asian nation
Many ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia are effectively stateless, long-standing victims of historical resentments
Get off the beaten track – literally – with a trip on two wheels to a wildlife reserve in the jungle not far from Laos’ capital, Vientiane
The 7.28am train to Bukhara, via Samarkand, pulls out of the Uzbek capital Tashkent on time. The Spanish-built Talgo bullet train will reach over 220 km/h as it speeds across the largely flat expanse of central Uzbekistan on its way to the country’s cities and religious buildings associated w...
Skiing, shady avenues and Stalin’s legacy: Almaty in Kazakhstan, where nature is never far away and food runs the gamut from Georgian to Uygur
With its breathtaking mountain views, wealth of leafy parks, and food from across Central Asia and the former Soviet Union, Almaty is an entree to the ‘stans’
An ornate Russian Orthodox cathedral, a bazaar packed with produce from near and far, and the world’s highest ice rink are among the city’s curiosities.
Vietnam by train: see ever changing country from the Reunification Express on its 31-hour trip north to Hanoi
Take the train across Vietnam. The journey is an adventure in itself, and the stops along the way offer breathtaking scenery and natural history