It’s Khmer New Year B.E. 2561 and we should choose a better topic to celebrate here. But I refuse to go to the Kep Beach to see the many visitors from Phnom Penh for a reason: garbage. At this very moment, while all Cambodians celebrate the new year with all happiness and cheh, cheh, cheh… all Cambodian beautiful spots are target of thousands of plastic, empty bottles, polystyrene utensils, all, spread everywhere by the happy Cambodian families celebrating with joy and love the Khmer New Year. Garbage on the pagodas, garbage along the roads, garbage on beaches and garbage on the national parks… practically every single corner of the country where a good road can reach for their vehicles.
Although there are many modern private clinics and hospitals in Cambodia now, the best certified place to request international vaccines is the Pasteur Center in Phnom Penh. Yellow Fever is the most requested one if you come from some South American and Africans countries or if you have traveled to those countries recently. Thailand, for example, is very much strict in requesting the Yellow Card. Read More…
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.
- Cambodians think that there are too many migrants, Muslims and Christians in the country and that 33 % of Cambodians are working abroad. These wrong perceptions can come from lack of information or bias.
“Perceptions are not reality” is the slogan of the 2015 survey by Ipsos MORI’s on Perils of Perception in 33 countries of the six continents, excluding Cambodia. The study asked questions such as obesity, non-religious, immigration, 25-34 living with parents, average age, population aged under 14, female politicians, female employment, rural living and internet access and built a table – the index of ignorance – from the least to the most accurate countries in their perception over those realities. Ipsos MORI chose the two Asian giants, India and China for the research, discovering that India is the second least accurate country after Mexico, and China got a good place: 25 out of 28, overcome by Poland, Ireland and South Korea.