SPORTS, RECREATION, ENTERTAINMENT AND GAMBLING IN CAMBODIA

SPORTS IN CAMBODIA

The Khmer Rouge attempted to stamp out sport as it did almost everything else.

Kick boxing is fairly big in Cambodia as it is in Thailand. Battambang is regarded as the heartland of the sport in Cambodia. There former kick boxer Sao Thing runs a basic training facility. Among the equipment at the facility are some old tires and a punching bag supported by bamboo crossbars. In the rainy season the entire facility floods and the two dozen or so student boxers move to another facility located on high ground and belongs to Sao Lin’s neighbor.

Many Cambodians from the old elite like gardening and raising orchids.

The Angkor Wat International Half Marathon was held on December 2 2012. The course was established in Angkor ruins with the start and finish line in front of the Central Sanctuary of Angkor Wat and a checkpoint at Angkor Thom (Bayon Temple).

Olympics

Cambodia has never won an Olympics medal. Hem Raksmey, who competed for Cambodia in the 50-meter freestyle at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, said after her race, "I stood with them and I knew they were the best, but I still wanted to compete against them. After all, I also have two arms and legs."

Cambodia returned to the Asian Games in 1994 after a 20 year absence. In 1996, it sent a team to the summer Olympic in Atlanta.

Cambodia sent four athletes (two swimmers and two runners) , three officials and nine officials to the Athens Olympics in 2004. The International Olympics Committee footed the bill for their travel, food and accommodation. A Thai company paid for the sports outfits for the swimmers. Still the team appealed for money so it could buy nice clothes to wear in the opening ceremony.

Japanese Comedian Denied a Slot on the Cambodian Olympic Team

In May 2012, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported: “Japan-born comedian Neko Hiroshi, who was chosen to represent Cambodia in the men's marathon at the London Olympics, will not be allowed to run for the nation because of his nationality status, the International Association of Athletics Federations said Tuesday. Earlier this year, the IAAF implemented a new rule under which an athlete who obtains a new nationality cannot join international competitions until at least one year has passed since the athlete gained the nationality, even if he or she has no experience in international competitions. [Source: Yomiuri Shimbun, May 10, 2012]

The IAAF judged that Neko does not qualify under the new rule, as the 34-year-old changed his nationality to Cambodian just last autumn. While Cambodia's athletics federation asked the IAAF to give Neko special permission to run for Cambodia in the London Olympics, the world body rejected the request because there was no special reason to give such permission. Neko, whose real name is Kuniaki Takizaki, was chosen in March to represent the Southeast Asian nation in the men's marathon after he achieved his best time of 2 hours 30 minutes 26 seconds in the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon in February 2012.

Golf in Cambodia

There are about a dozen golf courses in Cambodia. "The situation here in Cambodia is similar to Vietnam in 2000," Glenn Cassells, general manager of Garden City told the Los Angeles Times, referring to the golf boom that made people lust after golf in Vietnam. [Source: Geoffrey Dean-Smith, Los Angeles Times, November 17, 2013 ]

Geoffrey Dean-Smith wrote in the Los Angeles Times,“Cambodia isn't yet quite as up to par with other golf-obsessed destinations in Asia, but it's on the upswing. During my trip in May 2013, I played about a quarter or more of the country's golf courses. That's slightly misleading — there are fewer than a dozen, although more are in the works. I played two in Phnom Penh, one in Siem Reap. And I played a fourth, a very special, private course, by invitation only, that is not open to the public but speaks volumes about the rise of golf in Cambodia and golf in general.

“I knew that Nick Faldo had designed a course in Siem Reap, not far from Angkor Wat. The combination of golf and temples fired my imagination, so I hopped a ride from Phnom Penh to find out what I was missing. Turns out that if I hadn't come, I would have missed out on one of the better courses I've played. The Angkor golf course has 18 holes. A 7,279-yard par 72. Beautiful layout. From the grass driving range to the golf shop to the air-conditioned locker rooms to the restaurant, everything is just about perfect, all you could ask for in a golf resort.

“My caddy, So Pheap, had the eyes of a hawk and the sense of a bird dog when it came to finding my wayward shots. Water was my nemesis this day. I pushed my ball out right with my second shot on the par-four eighth hole and finished with a triple. So Pheap scored me 86 for the round. I knew I liked her. David Baron, director of golf for this resort, told me after my fine morning that a Faldo course was in the making near Phnom Penh that should be ready around November 2014. "Cambodia is the third fastest-growing Asian golf destination in the region," he said.

Golf in the Phnom Penh Area

Geoffrey Dean-Smith wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “It was just before 9 a.m. on a Monday as I stepped out of the luxurious, air-conditioned changing rooms of the Garden City Golf Club and onto the first tee. The temperature was already in the 90s and rising. But the heat didn't concern me as much as the design of this beast of a golf course. It runs 7,361 yards from the black tees, through narrow, winding fairways, between bunkers you could get lost in, with water everywhere and, finally, into huge undulating greens that look big enough to hold a game of five-a-side touch football. [Source: Geoffrey Dean-Smith, Los Angeles Times, November 17, 2013 ]

“This championship layout, about 12 miles from downtown Phnom Penh, is the brainchild of Maj. Gen. Weerayudth Phetbuasak, its Cambodian owner. To my relief, it became apparent, that in golfing terms, the quality of mercy was not lost on the good general. He designed five sets of tees for each hole to accommodate golfers of more modest talents. I fit into that "more modest" category, so I didn't hesitate in choosing the blue tees, which made the course for me a mere 6,213 yards. My caddy handed me the driver. I had come a long way for this moment, as others are doing as well. Some practice swings to loosen up. Then — thwack! — a perfect drive about 260 yards down the right side of the fairway. A pitching wedge into the green and two putts for par. "I would hope that before two years are up we shall have ... 36 holes finished," Cassells said. "It's going to be a whole satellite city." On this day my golf was mixed, but all in all, Garden City is a fine test of golf.

Later “I played night golf at the nine-hole City Club, about 15 minutes from the city center and open to the public. We started our round when it was still light, but when the sun went down, so did the temperature and humidity, although it's never exactly cool in Cambodia. With the longest hole at only 136 yards and the shortest just 60 yards, it was highly entertaining. I also had a chance to practice my drives on the range at the Grand Phnom Penh Golf Club. The yardage signs on the tiny island greens set into a lake tell you how far you have hit the ball. It also has an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed course, but I didn't have a chance to play it.

“On his experience at an exclusive club, Dean-Smith wrote: “After crossing the Cambodia China Friendship Bridge, over the muddy, brown waters of the mighty Mekong, I arrived at a gated compound. The manager and an assistant greeted me formally — hands together as in prayer, heads slightly bowed. I was led to an outside dining area, a large, wooden structure where I was indeed served the sweetest mango I had ever tasted, washed down with fresh coconut juice from the husk, followed by the white flesh of the coconut itself. Pure nectar.

“I was excited to see the golf course and perhaps play a few holes. I kept looking over my shoulder to spot a few flagsticks or bunkers. Nothing. I was puzzled. Then I was guided through some mango trees to a large area of dried, brown mud. It was the first hole. It was the last hole. It was the only hole — a 150-yard par-three one-hole course. Two tee boxes were set into the dried mud, a back tee and a forward tee, both covered in grass. One had to hit a shot over the mud, over an overgrown stream, across a broken-down old wooden bridge, to get to a fairway — I use the term loosely — leading to a green, the surface of which was not much smoother than a baseball mound.

“My heart surged with pure joy. I had come all this way to find this little golf hole in the middle of Kampong Thom Province in Cambodia that nobody had ever heard of but represented to me the essence of golf. A tee box, a flag and the challenge of getting a ball 1.68 inches in diameter into a hole 4.25 inches in diameter. Some primordial golfing urge was telling me I just had to play this hole. But there wasn't a golf club to be found. I vowed to return with one, and a few days later, I did, with an ancient seven-iron bought from a second-hand shop.

“The members of the staff took to their roles like seasoned actors. They sensed it was somehow important for this crazy foreigner to play this golf hole. After the customary mango and coconut, I was escorted to the tee. The manager appeared looking very serious, just like a waiter, but with a plate full of golf balls rather than food. I hit a few practice shots, rather poorly.

“Then I lined up for the real thing. I was determined to make par. The gallery of three sensed the tension. I hit my seven-iron and the ball landed just short of the green, rolling off the right edge. I chipped on, leaving me a tricky 3-footer. The final shot. The ball hit a tuft of grass that diverted it into the hole. Par! Arms aloft. Applause and cheers from the gallery of three. Kampong Thom had a new champion. My trophy consisted of six green coconuts presented by the equally happy staff.”

Karaoke in Cambodia

Julia Wallace wrote in the International Herald Tribune: “Karaoke is big in Cambodia. Very big. Office workers sing and dance the night away while sipping iced beer in windowless, bunker-like karaoke parlors known as “KTV”s. Younger viewers download the videos directly onto their computers and sing at home. Flip to any of the country’s nine major television channels — all owned by government officials or business people with close ties to the governing Cambodia People’s Party and it won’t take long before a karaoke video singing the praises of Prime Minister Hun Sen or his wife, Bun Rany, comes on the air. The programming is part of a quiet but long-running propaganda campaign that takes full advantage of Cambodians’ passion for sing-along. [Source: Julia Wallace, International Herald Tribune, January 18, 2013]

One traveler wrote on Shortnews.com: “I've recently been to a few remote villages in Cambodia where there is no running water, electricity, roads or bridges; nothing but jungles. Still, most of the houses in the villages had karaoke. They just attach a TV and karaoke machine to a car battery, which is recharged regularly by a guy with a mobile generator.”

Prime Minister Hun Sen outlawed karaoke in Phnom Penh in 2001 because of its links with drugs and prostitution. Bars and karaokes quickly reopened after restylizing themselves as restaurants and beer gardens.

Cambodians Killed by Karaoke

In May 2004, Associated Press reported: “A Cambodian was killed when he touched a bare microphone wire and turned on his home karaoke machine, a police official said. Chhouk Pha died at his home in Phnom Penh, said local police chief Chan Saroeun. The 56-year-old sang every day after his children left for school. But yesterday he had been standing barefoot in water when he touched the wire connecting the microphone to the machine's amplifier and turned on the power, Chan Saroeun said. The floor of Chhouk Pha's house was wet because recent rains caused a nearby pond to overflow into his home. The microphone wire was exposed because its plastic cover had partially worn out. [Source: Associated Press, May 29, 2004]

In February 2009, Shortnews.com reported: “On February 25th in Village 5, Kampom Speu, Cambodia, Mr. Chum Vuthy, 48, was at home, drunk and singing karaoke when he was electrocuted by his microphone. His wife tried to save him by taking the microphone out of his hand but the electricity started to course through her body as well. Chum's wife was not electrocuted because the neighbors were able to save her from the deadly microphone. [Source: Shortnews.com, February 28, 2009]

Hun Sen: Cambodian Strongman and Karaoke King

Julia Wallace wrote in the International Herald Tribune: “And then there is Hun Sen karaoke, the hundreds of songs by Hun Heng, the prime minister’s personal songwriter. (The two men are not related.) In the 1990s, Hun Heng’s job was to compose pastoral love ballads that were then recorded and sold as Hun Sen’s own work. Any pretense that Hun Sen writes his own material has since been dropped, and Hun Heng is a fairly well-known figure in his own right. [Source: Julia Wallace, International Herald Tribune, January 18, 2013. Julia Wallace is managing editor of The Cambodia Daily **]

“I asked Hun Heng if he would meet me to talk about his compositions, but he refused. “It’s very hard to explain,” he said over the phone last month. “I can’t explain this whole thing with just a few words.” But the songs speak for themselves. Videos celebrating two of Hun Sen’s recent major policy decisions have been in heavy rotation on multiple television stations recently. One of them praises a measure to end a system of privately owned fishing lots and open up more space for subsistence fishing. “This sub-decree of 7 March 2012 has truly sprung from the intellectual and thoughtful mind of someone who is trying to conserve endangered fishing resources,” sing a man and a woman in harmony, over image after image of flopping fish. **

“The lyrics to “Techo Hun Sen on Fishing Lots” begin, “All people really appreciate Samdech Techo Hun Sen, who, on February 28, has broadcast in every direction, making all people very happy about Samdech’s cleverness to declare that…” Then, in Hun Sen’s voice the song continues, “To everyone in the whole Tonle Sap basin, there will be no more fishing lots.” “Heart of the Volunteer Teenager” lauds a program that dispatches students to survey disputed land in the countryside. In the video, old women flash toothless grins as they hold up their land documents while a singer croons: “Mother Bun Rany gives us opportunity and destiny, and Father Techo is highly superior and elicits our great gratitude.” **

“Dozens of karaoke panegyrics to Bun Rany, a former nurse with a formidably bleached and powdered face, enumerate her good qualities. She is “a Cambodian women’s hero.” She has a “great, famous history.” She is a “great model person.” She is “an actual mother of charity.” She has “actually changed people’s ways of thinking — oh!” She is “actually made of diamonds and gold.” One video presents a blow-by-blow of the day in 2011 when the first lady was given not one but two titles by the Royal Academy of Cambodia, the nation’s highest academic body: Most Outstanding Lady of Cambodian Society and Kittiprittbandit — roughly, Glorious and Upright Person of Genius. **

“The lyrics begin: “The Peace Palace [Hun Sen's office building in Phnom Penh] is full of scented flowers on July 28, 2011. It’s the highest supreme honor for the First Lady of Cambodia — tremendously excited. It’s a lucky time, 9:00 a.m., to receive a Kittiprittbandit title from the Royal Academy, presided over by an actual doctor of philosophy, Hun Sen, her beloved husband.” The song continues, “Excellency Bun Rany has built foundational achievements. She is a Cambodian women’s hero who is talented in heart, breath and charity.” **

“Sophal Ear, a Cambodian-American academic who closely follows the political situation here, told me that “the constant playback is like any propaganda.” And while most people don’t run out to buy up the DVDs, “it eventually seeps into the consciousness.” Sophal Ear also pointed out that Hun Sen’s vast musical output is a throwback to the days of the charismatic late King Norodom Sihanouk, who was a prolific songwriter, singer, filmmaker, jazz saxophonist and painter. But a friend recently explained to me an important distinction. Of Sihanouk’s songs, he said, “they are very beautiful and meaningful.” But “listening to Hun Sen’s songs is like eating bad food.” As it happens, this friend had been struggling to find a primary school for his six-year-old son that isn’t named after Hun Sen. “There are only a few in the entire city,” he explained. The boy finally ended up at Hun Neang Elementary School. It is named after Hun Sen’s elderly father, who was recently given his very own title: Tycoon of Great Honesty and Charity. **

Games and Gambling in Cambodia

Cambodians play many games with Western cards. Snooker is played in town pool halls. Bair tong is a betting game played with ticket-size cards. Yuki is popular gambling hall game. The military runs many of Cambodia’s casinos.

Lotteries in which punter choose two, three or four digit number are popular in Phnom Penh. Instead of playing the Cambodia Lottery, most punters place their bets with "bet backers" who take bets from hundreds of people and make the pay offs themselves if people chose the right numbers. The bet backers have bookies who work for them, collecting the bets. The bookie stake a portion of the bet as a commission and bet backer takes in 70 percent of the bet's face value. Their winning numbers are usually the same as the Cambodia Lottery numbers.

Betters place their bets with the bet backers rather than Cambodia Lottery because they trust the bet backers more and their tickets are cheaper. "If you bet with Cambodia Lottery, " one man told the Phnom Penh Post, "you might as well just give them your money."

Casinos in Cambodia Near the Vietnamese Border

James Hookway wrote in the Wall Street Journal: “Cambodia’s leader Hun Sen says he has a “secret strategy” to prevent his Southeast Asian nation from being dominated by its much larger neighbors: casinos. In a five-hour, 20 minute address to Cambodia’s parliament Hun Sen explained that his plans to turn this country of 15 million people into a global gaming hub is in fact part of a longer-term strategy to prevent neighbors such as Vietnam and Thailand from encroaching on Cambodian turf. [Source: James Hookway, Wall Street Journal, August 16, 2012]

Bavet (48 kilometers from Svay Rieng provincial town and an hour by car from Ho Chi Minh City) is located at the main international border checkpoint between Cambodia and Vietnam. It is widely used by people traveling between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City. Bavet's main attractions are casinos in Cambodia that are within short walking distance of the border. These casinos are very popular with foreigners crossing the border.

Makoto Ota wrote in the Yomiuri Shimbun, “The crowds of Vietnamese trying their luck at the casinos that have sprung up in the southeastern border town of Bavet are a tangible example of the widening social divisions in their home country. While some of the people crossing the border for the casinos in Cambodia (gambling is illegal in Vietnam) are betting millions of dollars, others stay there for the free food— a mixture of haves and have-nots that has become more evident since Vietnam introduced its "doi moi" policies of economic liberalization in the 1980s.[Source: Makoto Ota, Yomiuri Shimbun, February 2, 2008]

In the early 2000s Bavet was surrounded by rice paddies. By 2008 it had seven casinos, and was illuminated round-the-clock by neon lights. More than 90 percent of the 7,000 visitors the casinos receive each day are Vietnamese. Food and drink is free, while complimentary accommodation is available next door for those placing a certain amount in bets. A man from Ho Chi Minh City, identifying himself as Quon, was playing baccarat at a table lit by chandeliers. "I never keep track of how much I bet," he said as he placed another 500 dollars bet after having just lost 500 dollars. "Probably several thousand dollars a day," the 45-year-old Quon said.

The average monthly income in Vietnam is about 150 dollars, though some of the guests clearly earn far more than this. The 32-year-old Vietnamese assistant manager of the Le Macau casino, the oldest casino in the area, said: "Betting tens of thousands of dollars is nothing special here. I know one customer who spent 2 million dollars."

The casinos have benefited from the money flowing out of Ho Chi Minh City. "I made a fortune thanks to my connections with the [Vietnamese] government," one patron said. "I bought some real estate after obtaining some useful information and sold it on. With the surging property market, I knew I'd make money."

But while some Vietnamese have benefited from the emerging market economy, many have been left behind, and have even abandoned their hometowns altogether for Bavet. A 50-year-old man identifying himself as Tieng came to Bavet with his wife from the southern province of Tay Ninh in Vietnam eight months ago. Tieng said that back home he worked irregularly as a day-laborer, earning about 37 dollars in a good month. But he said that he now earns enough to make a reasonable living through gambling, having three meals a day at the casinos and sleeping on a sofa. "I can earn 10 dollars a day," Tieng said. "Everything I earn is profit, because we don't need to pay for food." Tieng said about 20 Vietnamese have left their hometown because of poverty and settled in the casinos, adding the number of "settlers" has been growing as rumors of easy money spread.

Casinos in Cambodia Near the Thailand Border

Pailin City (19 kilometers from the Thai border) was the former stronghold of the Khmer Rouge. Ruled until the early 2000s by the Khmer Rouge defector Ieng Sary, it is a pleasant place with some of Cambodia's cleanest and well-kept guest houses and brothels, a busy marketplace, billiard halls, casinos, gambling halls, gas stations, karaokes and restaurants. The first brothel opened in September 1997. Soldiers in the town are prohibited from carrying guns.

Pailin has traditionally been a gem-dealing town. Roaming around town are gem dealers who offer rubies, sapphires and diamonds to Western visitors and anyone else that passes through. As the gem-producing areas of Pailin are mostly played out many of the gems originate form outside the region. Many of the visitors these days are high-rolling Thais who play baccarat and roulette tables in open air casinos and larger places like Caesar International Casino, a building that looks like an airplane hanger and offers “Disco, Dance, Karaoke, Restaurant, Massage” as well as gambling.

Many of the Thais come just for at night to gamble and then go home. The town has its share of drugs and Khmer and Vietnamese prostitutes. There are a few visible remnants of the war and Khmer Rouge occupation other than some tanks that children climb around on and suspicious looks by local people towards foreigners. Bright warning signs and white tape show where mines are potentially located.

During the Khmer Rouge occupation and after Pailin was like Wild West town in the gold-rush days of California. People seem to be everywhere in the hills sifting through mud puddles and scratching at the dirt, looking to strike it rich with the find of a nice gem. Even though the gems are mostly gone Pailin still seems to attract more people rather than kept them away. The influx of residents from other parts of the country has produced a friendlier Pailin. Nowadays the mixed lot of Pailin residents seem happy to see foreigners coming in for holidays and check the place out, realizing that their presence means that normalcy and revenue are arriving in Pailin.

Betting on Soccer in Cambodia

The Euro 2000 soccer tournament unleashed a gambling fenzy in Cambodia. Traffic was brought to a standstill around the main market in Phnom Penh in the mornings as punters rushed to place bets with bookies that gathered there. Pawnshops reported brisk business as betters hawked gooda to pay their debts. A riot nearly broke when a Vietnamese bookie, skipped town with $20,000 in bets by more than 100 Cambodian gamblers.

Reporting from Poipet, a gambling hub near the Thai border, Chris Brummitt of Associated Press wrote: “Unlicensed Asian betting sites and bookmakers like those in Poipet function as unofficial agents of the larger Asian betting operators, most of them based in the Philippines. Unlike in regulated markets, syndicates are able to place bets anonymously, with no cash trail to follow or betting patterns to examine if fixing suspicions emerge, said David Forrest, an applied economist who specializes in sports gambling at the University of Salford Business School in Britain. [Source: Chris Brummitt, Associated Press, February 15, 2013 /\]

"Asia is the dominant betting market, even though the sport is European. And most criminals, whether they come from Asia or Europe, will place the bets in Asia because of the non-regulated sector of that market," he said. "It's a huge market, and easy to hide money." Bookmakers and bettors alike in Poipet are aware that some matches are fixed, but such information is closely held by the syndicates and doesn't reach ordinary gamblers. The Premier League is regarded as fix-proof, but the Italian, Russian and smaller Asian leagues are suspect. The gamblers say it doesn't affect their betting.” /\

Soccer Gambling Thrives in Cambodian Border Town of Poipet

Chris Brummitt of Associated Press wrote: “In the rundown market where the smell of incense mixes with rotting garbage, betting goes on 24 hours a day inside shiny, glass-fronted parlors emblazoned with photos of famous European soccer players. Fidgety men break from lines of computers displaying odds to place bets with cashiers on matches around the world, from the obscure leagues of India and New Zealand to the giants of Europe. "We can't always pronounce the teams we are betting on, but that doesn't matter," said Sampoath Pererra, a Sri Lankan palm oil worker who has made his life in Poipet, a two-street town sandwiched between the Cambodian and Thai borders. "The important thing is we can recognize them." [Source: Chris Brummitt, Associated Press, February 15, 2013]

Poipet has a long association with gambling. In the early 1990s, the government allowed casinos to be built there, and the gaudy, mostly threadbare venues continue to attract thousands of customers from Thailand, where all forms of gambling are illegal. Soccer bookmakers —also illegal in most Asian countries—have sprung up inside the casinos and in nearby streets.

The cash bets placed with the bookies in Poipet and the many more via websites operating out of the town form part of a billion-dollar unregulated industry in Asia that is at the heart of match-fixing. To spend a weekend there is to see up close the region's obsession with soccer gambling, as well as some of the challenges facing those who seek to keep the sport clean.

While bets of upward of $50,000 on a single game are not uncommon in Asia, most wagers are much smaller, reflecting average incomes in a region that remains mostly poor. On a weekend in late November, there were few big bettors in Poipet, little glamour and many tales of lives taken over by gambling.

In the snazziest of the town's bookmakers, called footballbet.com, a gap-toothed Singaporean who gave his name only as Michael needed several late goals and turnarounds to win his $25 wager on a series of five matches. As the final whistle approached on several matches in England's Premier League, his hope slowly turned to disappointment. He fingered his betting slips in the manner of gamblers around the world, and a 6-year-old boy whom he referred to as his son bounded from his lap to the floor of the bookmakers, playing in the cigarette ash left behind.

Authorities turn a blind eye to the bookmakers, even those who operate outside the casinos, which are run by powerful tycoons with links to the corruption-riddled government in Phnom Penh, the capital. In September, police arrested 100 Indonesians in Phnom Penh for illegally running a soccer betting site from two houses in the city. One bookmaker's Malaysian manager, who refused to give his name because of the illegal nature of his business, conceded that the operation was running "on borrowed time."

The websites operating in the town employ Indonesians, Thais and other nationalities on telephone help lines and computer chat rooms to assist people setting up accounts in their home countries. Rooms in hotels and casinos are rented out to these operators, giving the town something of a gold rush atmosphere.

Poipet is a town where few would choose to live unless they were making money, or have gambling addictions to feed. In the daytime, trucks carrying squealing pigs roll through town, as do vehicles full of foreign tourists on their way to the ruins of Angkor Wat, Cambodia's iconic 12th century temple. By night, touts on motorbikes patrol the main drag offering women and drugs, while children beg. A stinking, rubbish-clogged river dissects the town.

Image Sources:

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Tourism of Cambodia, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Global Viewpoint (Christian Science Monitor), Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, NBC News, Fox News and various books and other publications.

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© 2008 Jeffrey Hays

Last updated May 2014

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