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Soaring ambition

After years of spearheading the Cambodian operations, Thai Airways’ Narinthorn Purnagupta is to pilot the airline’s Vietnamese operations As he gets ready to leave for new pastures Narinthorn Purnagupta is light hearted. He will pass the baton to a successor who, he is happy to say, will inherit a profitable Bangkok-Phnom Penh route. The general


The Mandalay Spirit

It’s midnight in Yangon and a businessman is singing into his now empty bottle of rum. He mumbles incoherently to no one in particular and stumbles off into the night. Little did he know that for the last hour he had been sitting next to the man behind the bottle. Ajay Advani is the driving


Stones of contention: the fight for Preah Vihear

Built at the height of the Khmer empire, the 900-year-old temple of Preah Vihear now lies at the heart of a vicious border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia. For decades, Preah Vihear has been witness to a war of words and sporadic fights between Cambodian and Thai troops over territorial claims. The 11th century cultural


Beer wars

‘Pouring’ over details of the overly-competitive Cambodian beer industry, the covert smuggling ring that keeps brewers on their toes and the newcomers to a battle-hardened market. Welcome to the beer industry in Cambodia – a competitive market so shrouded in secrecy that it is next to impossible to give an in-depth look. Yet with two


A new history

Cambodians have mostly heard about Khmer Rouge atrocities from each other. Now schools are addressing the tragedy. Khieu Maly was sitting quietly, ashen-faced during his Khmer Rouge history lesson in 2003, says Song Malet, her grade nine teacher. When younger brother Khieu Vordeth took the same class a year later, his behaviour was little different.


Mineral resourcefulness

Cambodia is looking to emulate its northern neighbour Laos in making millions of dollars from minerals, but first foreign mining firms will have to navigate the country’s myriad pitfalls. As official events go, a state tax ceremony in a small, socialist country would hardly be expected to get pulses racing. But in this case at


Searching for truth in the Kingdom of lies: an interview with Chuwit Kamolvisit

Former massage parlour kingpin Chuwit Kamolvisit says the country’s political establishment remains as hypocritical and divided as ever. But that doesn’t mean he wants out. “In the morning, when I wake up, I drink a coffee and I read the paper. What is today’s bullshit, today’s lie? I never believe anything that’s written in the


As the tribe travels

Following the trail of Jewish people to Southeast Asia, one organisation ensures people of the faith always have a place to call home. When French explorer Henri Mouhot travelled through Cambodia in the mid-19th century, he came across a group of people who did not eat pork, observed the seventh day of rest and circumcised


Ascending the cloud

The latest computing trend sounds nebulous, but it’s not so obscure if you’re a professional on the move. Every cloud has a silver lining. In case you haven’t heard, the digital office is now a reality. The age of the cloud is officially upon us, and as ominous as that may sound, it’s actually a


Top of the pops

These five singers have captured the hearts and ears of the region 1. Thongchai McIntyre The eldest of this month’s Top 5,  51-year-old Thongchai ‘Bird’ McIntyre is one of Thailand’s most successful singers of all time. Having sold over 20m albums since his debut in 1986, Bird’s staying power is comparable to that of Madonna’s.