Archive by Author | Albeiro Rodas

Tum Teav alive today

If you want to understand many things of the Cambodian mentality and old traditions that still around, Tum Teav is a film you should watch. Although it is seen as an old story where mothers determine the husband for their daughters upon social and economic considerations, the true is that such practice continues present in modern Cambodia.

You can get the version with English subtitles in this link. Read More…

Brexit & Cambodia

  • Experts predict little impact for ASEAN after Brexit.
  • Cambodia has its own economical agreements with UK that would gain more meaning in the coming months… it could be of benefit.
  • British tourism could be globally reduced in the coming months due to economical upheaval in UK after Brexit. Between January and February 2015, Cambodia welcomed 30,000 British tourists. 

Still too early to evaluate how the Brexit will affect the Cambodian economy. However, the event is currently in the heat of speculations from around the world in this unprecedented moment in the history of the European Union. Brexit, a short expression for Britain Exit [EU], was the referendum of the United Kingdom on its continuity as a member of EU, where 48.1 % voting to remain and 51.9 % winning the leave.

Samdech Hun Sen and Lord Puttman in October 2014 in Phnom Penh Cambodia UK relations

Samdech Hun Sen meets Lord David Puttman in October 2014 in Phnom Penh. At the time, Cambodian government urged UK to increase investments in the Asian country. Photo Chey Phoumipul, Courtesy AKP.

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Cambodian traffic practices

If you intend to drive a car, a motorbike, a bicycle or just take walks on Cambodian roads or streets, please take in account the following practices. Yes, officially, the international traffic law is in force in Cambodia and there are campaigns to educate people in how to follow the traffic rules, but… one thing is on paper, another is on the streets… so for your safety and the one of others, follow this recommendations:

  • Cambodian drivers do not use driving license. It means that anybody with the possibility to move a vehicle, can drive, no matter if that person is 10 years old, has vision problems or never have been in a driving school. Technically there are several driving schools in each Cambodian province, but it does not mean that 100% of Cambodian drivers attend them. In theory yes, but few follow the driving lessons and the final exam is arranged by a dollar note. Police enforcement never requests driving license – at least it is about a foreigner to whom they would like to get some extra incomes. In particular, there is not driving license condition for motorbike drivers, so you can see children of 8 to 15 driving motorbikes on the roads, without any care for traffic rules – just because they never have been in a driving school.

The driving license in force in Cambodia are these:

Cambodian driving license Read More…

Water level of the Mekong Delta

Mekong water level through the years

      I found this this water level measurement in a Cham´s village near Can Tho and it was very much interesting to see how the different floods fluctuate along the years. A good topic within this April drought and the sea level increase that is putting in danger the Mekong Delta. Following this local measurement, I built that diagram that traces the flood level since 1994. It is possible to see that every 5 years there is a big flood, being the most important the one of April 2000 (I remember it very well). The 2000 flood reached 2 meters up (you can see in my own photo). Following this graphic, it is possible to predict that we will get a big flood this or next year, since the last big flood was in 2010.

       I found very wise the policy to adapt people to the sea intrusion, as the Vietnamese government is doing. But it needs also other meaningful adaptations such as the recovery of the jungle and the construction of of very expensive and super-technological floodgates (welcome Dutch people). But this fight against sea intrusion must not be seen as something of individual countries. In the case of the Mekong Delta, it does not affect Vietnam alone, but it includes Cambodia, while all countries along the Mekong basin should join together in a race against time.

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