Whatever happened to Cambodia?

Whatever happened to Cambodia?

Postby Corns » Tue Jan 30, 2018 19:02

I just got suspended from the fascist mods at the old site for posting this (they thought it was anti-Canadian---dumbasses!).

Whatever has happened to Cambodia? It used to be this free-wheeling mecca for backpackers (from what I have read in books and forums--never been there myself).

Want to shoot a water buffalo with a bazooka? Have herbs added to your pizza? :lol: :lol: Enjoy the local women in numbers? Work without a permit. No problem.

Now? You can`t even dance at a party without getting arrested. Wonder how this will impact backpacker tourism. Is Cambodia really no longer this Wild East lawless place?

Are they trying to look respectable? To really do so, they would need a load of governance reforms. :lol:

Cambodian authorities have accused 10 foreigners of violating the country's anti-pornography laws, after police raided a party in Siem Reap, close to the famous ruins of Angkor Wat.

The group, which includes at least five UK nationals, as well as two Canadians :lol: , a Norwegian and a New Zealander, is accused of "preparing pornographic materials," a charge which could see them face up to a year in jail if found guilty.

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/01/29/asia ... index.html
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Re: Whatever happened to Cambodia?

Postby Big Vern » Tue Jan 30, 2018 19:18

You can't surely have scored a suspension just for that. Did you kick off at them when they told you they were removing the post or something?
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Re: Whatever happened to Cambodia?

Postby Corns » Tue Jan 30, 2018 19:21

Big Vern wrote:You can't surely have scored a suspension just for that. Did you kick off at them when they told you they were removing the post or something?


Nope, I posted it once with just a laughing icon and the Canadian angle (it was removed), and then reposted it with much more substantive commentary as I have with this post. No back and forth with any mods at all. The second time -- 14 day suspension. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Whatever happened to Cambodia?

Postby Big Vern » Tue Jan 30, 2018 19:28

Corns wrote:
Big Vern wrote:You can't surely have scored a suspension just for that. Did you kick off at them when they told you they were removing the post or something?


Nope, I posted it once with just a laughing icon and the Canadian angle (it was removed), and then reposted it with much more substantive commentary as I have with this post. No back and forth with any mods at all. The second time -- 14 day suspension. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Cripes!

I wonder how much post removals and suspensions are down to the number of people complaining. I remember my short, ill-starred stint as a mod and I would tend to respond to the whiney little shits who kept complaining about posts. With hindsight that was the wrong policy, but I bet it plays a significant role with mods who, understandably, have better things to do.

Getting a 14 day ban just for that is laughable. Had you been winding them up with other borderline posts for a while beforehand?
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Re: Whatever happened to Cambodia?

Postby Corns » Tue Jan 30, 2018 19:36

Big Vern wrote:Had you been winding them up with other borderline posts for a while beforehand?


Believe it or not -- no. I do not post that regularly over there and had no run-ins for ages and ages--at least a year.

I was banned early last year for two weeks for laughing at a Canadian drug bust. Before that, at least 5 years since a suspension (when it was very frequent--back in the days of the glorious Chewycorns :orz: :orz: ). :lol: :lol:
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Re: Whatever happened to Cambodia?

Postby Big Vern » Tue Jan 30, 2018 19:51

Corns wrote:
I was banned early last year for two weeks for laughing at a Canadian drug bust. Before that, at least 5 years since a suspension (when it was very frequent--back in the days of the glorious Chewycorns :orz: :orz: ). :lol: :lol:

It was like a transition from Hal to Henry V. They should be grateful for the transformation.

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Re: Whatever happened to Cambodia?

Postby Toad » Tue Jan 30, 2018 21:53

Corns wrote:Want to shoot a water buffalo with a bazooka? Have herbs added to your pizza? :lol: :lol: Enjoy the local women in numbers? Work without a permit. No problem.

Eh? Was this ever actually true or is it some sort of urban myth perpetuated by 40-something expats in dingy backwater bars? I've never been there, but I was under the impression that even attempting to, uh, enjoy the local women, in one-offs or otherwise, was likely to get you an expensive stint in the local police cells.

The laws you mention have almost certainly been on the books for decades. The government may have simply realised that statutes are supposed to be enforced - something of a radical innovation for Asia in general.

Or they might just be doing what third-world countries have done since time immemorial, ie., standing in the toilet while pulling the flush handle.

btw, how does this incident have a "Canadian angle", aside from the mundane fact that two of the arrested were Canadians?
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Re: Whatever happened to Cambodia?

Postby Big Vern » Tue Jan 30, 2018 22:08

Toad wrote:
btw, how does this incident have a "Canadian angle", aside from the mundane fact that two of the arrested were Canadians?

That's a very good point.

This is clearly a British operation. Five UK nationals. Yes, five. I'm not having this limey moment of glory hijacked by some colonial.

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Re: Whatever happened to Cambodia?

Postby Corns » Tue Jan 30, 2018 22:29

Big Vern wrote:I'm not having this limey moment of glory hijacked by some colonial.



Speaking about colonials---I am surprised a Kiwi was arrested. :facepalm: Probably an extended relative of AJ`s. :lol:

Was this ever actually true?.......btw, how does this incident have a "Canadian angle", aside from the mundane fact that two of the arrested were Canadians?


Toad, have you read Off the Rails? A great read.

https://www.amazon.com/Off-Rails-Phnom- ... 9748303349

There have been such a lack of Canadian expats getting arrested lately in SE Asia, that two is a big deal. :lol: :grin: If it had been five, I would have been really proud. :cool:
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Re: Whatever happened to Cambodia?

Postby cfimages » Wed Jan 31, 2018 08:34

I've been there twice, once in early 2002, and again in 2006. While the happy herbs were easily added to pizza (and based on a photo a friend who lives and runs a business there recently posted, you still can), the few wild stories I heard always involved the well-renumerated expats working in development. And there weren't that many wild stories.

But with over 2 million tourists a year now, most of them coming on expensive packages from China, or well off middle aged Westerners, the backpacker contribution to the Cambodian economy is minute.

I had read that the party raid came about because those 10 people (or at least some of them) had done something earlier at Angkor Wat, maybe naked selfies or something, and when the police went to arrest them later at their guesthouse, the party happened to be going on. It wasn't the party itself that was the target.
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Re: Whatever happened to Cambodia?

Postby Toad » Wed Jan 31, 2018 19:39

Corns wrote:Toad, have you read Off the Rails? A great read.

I just had a look but apparently it ain't available on Kindle. I don't do paper these days.

So I did some research and apparently it is as you say. In fact Cambodia appears to be a top-ten contender for worst country in the world. Not really surprising I suppose, given it's recent history. It's just surprising to discover that the Somalia of the Far East is also a popular tourist destination, at least for a certain definition of "tourist".
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Re: Whatever happened to Cambodia?

Postby Bunks » Sun Feb 04, 2018 14:26

I was there in 99 and it was lawless. Armed checkpoints all the way in from the Thai border. Lumpy red gravel roads. We were locked in our compound each night for our own safety. You didn't travel anywhere without a local on a scooter going with you. But it was the most amazing experience. I'm not sure about attitudes to sex back then though as I'm not a sex tourist.
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Re: Whatever happened to Cambodia?

Postby Bu Lai En » Sun Feb 04, 2018 15:45

Bunks wrote:I was there in 99 and it was lawless. Armed checkpoints all the way in from the Thai border. Lumpy red gravel roads. We were locked in our compound each night for our own safety. You didn't travel anywhere without a local on a scooter going with you. But it was the most amazing experience. I'm not sure about attitudes to sex back then though as I'm not a sex tourist.


I went there in 98. Pol Pot had just died and they'd just opened that border with Thailand. It was the worst road ever and had about 30 checkpoints along the way with armed unpaid soldiers, police and the like trying to extort money. At Angkor, unpaid soldiers and police would try and sell their badges, jackets and guns. Guys with AK47s walked the markets, and guarded the banks. There was a guy with a pistol guarding our hostel. At Sihanoukville the beach was closed because a corrupt mayor had accepted a pay-off to dump chemical waste. The town had rioted over it two weeks previously so people were a bit edgy. Massive prostitution. My travelling comparisons bought a huge block of weed at the local market for peanuts. The stories of shooting grenade launchers at cows were true, but it wasn't cheap. We were definitely allowed to travel alone. We took off up the mountain on scooters and almost got lost in a rainstorm. Lucky we didn't because there were unexploded landmines everywhere. We found the station we were staying at very late, so scared the occupants a bit. I got the door opened with an AK pointing right at me because they thought we were bandits. Best trip I've ever had.

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Re: Whatever happened to Cambodia?

Postby Toad » Sun Feb 04, 2018 15:59

Bu Lai En wrote: Best trip I've ever had.

I can certainly understand the need for a big block of weed under those circumstances.
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Re: Whatever happened to Cambodia?

Postby Bunks » Sun Feb 04, 2018 17:46

Sounds like Bu and I had similar experiences. Siem Reap was basically a giant dirt road with construction either side. I remember a steak was cheaper than tuna! The locals were incredibly friendly. But the backpackers were a very jittery bunch, cos of all the guns being waved at us and the landmine threats. I saw quite a few people have meltdowns due to fear and panic.
The rocket launcher at a cow experience was true too.
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