The Principalities of Chenla Kingdom

Those who visit the Angkorian Temples in Siem Reap, remain in admiration of a glorious past. For many, it is an unexpected event in a country that is at the bottom of the poorest of Asia, with a troublesome time of wars and conflicts right few decades ago. How is it possible that this 11th century wonders seem to be unknown in the rest of the world, when they keep the same grandeur of more famous ancient treasures in Egypt, Middle East, China, South America and Europe?

            Definitively, the Temples of Angkor – thousands of them spread from Siem Reap Province to the four cardinal directions of an ancient Empire – are the remains of a great history and great histories are made by great people. The Khmers of today, striving to overcome poverty in many ways, are descendants of that mysterious time where Cambodia was one of the leading powers of East Asia Pacific. Continue reading

When Tourism Becomes a Threat

As Globalization grows with optimistic numbers in every human sector – from technologies to communication and from economic [including the crisis] to the disappearance of geographical borders -, tourism is becoming also more and more global. It is easier in our time to plan the next holidays at the other side of the planet, as it was planning the same some decades ago to the other site of the county. Plane tickets’ cost have gone down as much as high technologies and the frontiers of our tiny planet came to be at the walking distance. In 2014 only 1.1 billion persons traveled around the world, according to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, with an increase of 4.5% over the previous year and it is estimated another jump of 4% in 2015. We are talking of numbers during an economic crisis period, so numbers will be much bigger in ‘better times’. Continue reading

An E-Visa Complain

At the edge of the Tourist High Season, we start with the E-Visa and the need to be more effective. In general, the Cambodian E-Visa is the best of the South East Asia and it is really an example. Just don’t use intermediate agencies that would overcharge you. Please use exclusively the Government website:

As in any system, there will be always mistakes, system failures and misunderstanding. But it is important to work all the time to avoid it. A perfect complement could be the skill training of officers dealing with international visitors in airports, sea ports and land gates. They must speak at least a good level of English, while having experience in dealing with foreigners, using the electronic technologies and being kind. It will give a good image to Cambodia.

I got the following complain from a couple with a not good experience in their E-Visa experience. By sure, most people are happy with the service, but it is important to heard also those who are not happy in order to improve it: Continue reading

Increase in Electricity Bills

There is a wave of electricity bills increase in Cambodia right now. First it was the tiny Province of Kep, where increases jumped suddenly in April to 8%, 40% and even 80% in some hotels, even if there were less guests than last year and the weather was the same. At the time, nearby provinces like Kampot and Sihanok did not experiment such event, so different persons went to complain to Kep Power Supply that blamed the weather. Continue reading

Cambodia ranks 50 in HP visa restriction index

  • The Cambodian passport is among of the weakest of the planet. Cambodians can enter freely to only 50 countries.
  • The strongest Southeast Asian passport is the one of Brunei, entering 150 countries, 100 more than Cambodia.
  • The Cambodian passport is the 5th strongest Southeast Asian passport after Brunei, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia. Cambodia wins to Vietnam, Burma and even China.  

Henley & Partners puts Cambodia in the 50th place on its visa restriction index for 2014. It means that a Cambodian citizen can enter to just 50 countries of the world without a previous visa. The index is a global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom that their citizens enjoy. Cambodia wins for one place to Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Madagascar, Nigeria and Turkmenistan, whose citizens don’t need previous visa to enter to 49 countries of the planet, and it is behind for one place to Bhutan, Mongolia and Mozambique that do not need visa for 51 countries.  Continue reading

Hot Cambodia, a social view of the Tropics

The current intention to explain why tropical countries are poorer than those countries in the temperate zone could touch a big variety of proposals, some of them of arguable position. For example, Jeffrey D. Sachs exposes that tropical regions have low agricultural productivity and the burden of tropical diseases:

“As Sachs sees it, tropical regions face two related major ecological handicaps: low agricultural productivity and a high burden of disease. Tropical soils are typically depleted by the effects of heavy rainfall, for example, and tropical crops are beset by pests and parasites that thrive in hot climates without winter frosts. Similarly, warm climates favor the transmission of many tropical diseases that are borne by insects and bacteria.” (Bloomberg, 2001)

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Don’t take illegal pictures of people

  • Taking photos of people on public areas without their consent, can be considered espionage. 

If you come to Cambodia to take pictures of other foreigners to support campaigns such as the persecution of sexual offenders, you must know that it is considered espionage and thus it is a crime. Working in any organization to prevent or to persecute offenders, does not entitle you to take photos of persons without their consent. A good mission or a great ideal such as protecting children, does not give you the right to commit another crime that could be also abusive like defaming the name of a person that could be mostly innocent. Taking an illegal picture of a man would make him a suspect of a possible undergoing crime. Only the authorities are entitled to proceed in an investigation that includes the production of photographs, videos or audios of possible suspects. Even like that, authorities should respect the privacy of a possible suspect under the assumption that all persons are innocent until the contrary is not proven. It is especially delicate in Cambodia, because in our judicial system, every suspect is guilty until the contrary is not proven. In our Cambodian judicial system, judges and prosecutors keep as a goal to produce a jail sentence. Several Cambodian prosecution cases would not make a case in Japan, Europe and US, as they do in Cambodia and take any example.


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