The redemption of Cambodia’s child sex tourism town

This week, in a first ever for the Globe, we produced a story decided by you, our readers. We put several ideas to our paying members back in January, and you decided that you’d like to know more about Cambodia’s former child sex tourism village, Svay Pak. Andrew and Allegra spent the past month visiting Svay Pak, learning how it’s been transformed from a den of abject suffering to a tight-knit community today

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March 6, 2021
The redemption of Cambodia’s child sex tourism town

The reform of Svay Pak

Though its worst days seem thankfully to be long past it, the name “Svay Pak” is still short for vice in greater Phnom Penh. Allegra and I spent about a month investigating the village past and present to learn what this place was and what its dark legacy means for child welfare in Cambodia.

Photography book remembers Cambodian refugee resettlement in Chicago

What happens to people flung far from home? No two groups can say exactly the same thing, but the Cambodian-American experience captured our attention this week thanks to the vivid photography of Stuart Isett, who worked with the diasporic community of Chicago in the early 1990s. It was a turbulent, often violent time in a new home, but the images now on display in the new book On the Corners of Argyle and Glenwood, produced by Isett and Cambodian-American collaborators Pete Pin and Silong Chhun, captures the raw humanity of the experience. Hit the link to see that world through Isett’s lens.

In decline, what’s the future for Vietnam’s historic North-South railway?

Vietnam’s transportation planners have long hyped the country’s next big rail projects. But even after the big talk, there’s little to show and even less to ride. Govi Snell, Globe’s reporter in Ho Chi Minh City, tells us that time could be running out for Vietnam’s central North-South railway, an iconic line that runs through the center of national history. Really interesting story here.

‘He shot straight at me’: Myanmar journalists describe covering the coup

The Tatmadaw, the powerful military now (again) running Myanmar’s government, has spared no brutality in cracking down on those who would oppose their takeover of the state. Journalists documenting the nation’s swelling protests have been especially targeted by soldiers and police. Allegra spoke with several reporters across the country to hear first-hand what they’ve seen, heard and felt on the frontlines of the conflict.

Thailand and Myanmar’s militaries get cozy, but at what cost?

Birds of a feather, the powerful military chiefs of Thailand and Myanmar have shared an increasingly snug relationship over the years. That explains why Burmese Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing made a point of reaching out to Thai Prime Minis­ter and former junta boss Prayut Chan-o-cha — but it also gives us a hint of the blowback that might soon sweep Thailand as the world watches the violence underwriting Min Aung Hlaing’s grasp of power. I found this a very useful article for this moment, and I think you will too. Hit the link for the latest from Globe columnist and associate professor Mark S. Cogan.

What’s causing Thailand’s poor English language proficiency?

Thai economic boosters have long identified English language skills as an important contributor to the national economy. So why do so many Thais still struggle to speak the lingua franca? Very insightful piece from Globe contributor Tara Abhasakun on what drives this trend and how teachers are trying to undo it.

Food and identity among the Cambodian American diaspora

Food is an essential part of life. The food that we eat, the food that we crave, and the food that we choose to put into our bodies play a deep role into our identity and how we see ourselves.

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