Welcome to Cambodia Tales

by John Einar Sandvand on January 31, 2009

In one week from now I will be in Cambodia, researching my new book.  Let me welcome you to the digital version – a blog named Cambodia Tales.

A monk by the river in Phnom Penh

A monk resting by the river in Phnom Penh

I have a weak spot in my heart for Asia and have travelled a lot in the region, especially during my three year tenure as Asia correspondent for  the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten (1997-2000).  Yet none of the countries have intrigued me as much as Cambodia. I find it different from all other countries in Asia.

Over the years I have had the opportunity to visit Cambodia a number of times, mostly as a journalist. It has been fascinating, depressing, enjoyable, intriguing, hot, educational and full of smiles and tragedy – all at the same time.

Always the history of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime has been a backdrop to the visits.  The traumatic experience of the Khmer people is unparalleled in modern history and has a profound influence on people’s life today as well, 30 years after Pol Pot and his movement was removed from power by the Vietnamese occupation forces.

This is also the main topic of my new book, which will be written as a journalistic documentary based on several travels to the country. You can read more about it here.

Cambodia Tales will consist of notes and photos from my travels to Cambodia as well as small pieces of analysis and commentaries.

Please comment on the stories and give your suggestions about what I should focus on during the travels to South East Asia’s most fascinating country.

Skulls from one of the many mass graves of victims after Khmer Rouge

Skulls from one of the many mass graves of victims after Khmer Rouge

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