A few weeks before the recent elections, a local friend told me that he went to Phnom Penh to join the protest after the previous elections. He was assuming that such protests would happen again. I remained with a blank expression without a clue as to the reason for his confident affirmation. It turns out he was right. He also told me that day, with a sad expression that I never see on his face, about what he had seen and what had happened last time and that tragedy would happen again if protests occurred. Sadly, he was right again.
Cambodia protests -recent news
He will never go to Phnom Penh during protests,he says calmly, reassuring his wife and children.
So, what’s going on now?
After the recent elections and subsequent turmoil in Phnom Penh, Australia asked its citizens, on September 23, to exercise a high degree of caution in Phnom Penh. This came a day before the following news:
As I write from Siem Reap, life is as normal as it can be and business is going on as usual. Locals and foreign businesses alike are simultaneously going through floods in October and trying to preparing for the busiest part of the year starting in November. Locals are buying the last available vans to transport tourists, hotels and restaurants (well, the owners) are starting to salivate , no pun intended, at the thought of crowds coming back. Actually, the crowds never really left ( apart from a slower wet October), they just will be larger from now on. Cambodia just keeps chugging along breaking new tourism records every year.
Will Australia’s warning cause the first slow down in tourism in 10 years? Are other warnings coming? Who knows.
Like I said, in Siem Reap, where all the tourism action is anyway, it was and will be business as usual, even though we are very conscious about the problems in Phnom Penh which relate to all of us living in Cambodia.