Crossing Cambodia

Monday, June 02, 2008

Chasing Cars, June 2, 2008

  • How safe is traffic in Cambodia? Well, if even UFO's are having accidents over or near Cambodia, then we can clearly say that the traffic situation in Cambodia is not so safe after all.
    'A UFO has exploded in mid-air over a southern Vietnamese island, according to reports.
    Villagers say they heard a loud blast yesterday and later found shards of metal near the island's coastline.
    The sensational revelations come one day after neighbouring Cambodia's air force retracted a report of a mysterious plane crash.
    The Vietnam News Agency said residents of Phu Quoc island, six miles off the coast of the Cambodian province of Kampot, found shards of grey metal, including one 1.5 metres long'.
    Pictures of shards obtained in Cambodia are here. So it was a UFO, but everybody has been told to hush up. From the Vietnamese press:
    'Nguyen Thanh Banh, Kien Giang police deputy chief, told Thanh Nien anyone found guilty of spreading rumors from the incident that would negatively affect security on the island would be dealt with according to law'.
    That's good to know, that the law will be upheld. What does the Vietnamese law say about spreading rumours? Do they actually have a law on spreading rumours? Do they have legislation on UFO's? Does the traffic law in Cambodia have anything to say on UFO's?
  • The train was back in the news last week. It derailed surprisingly:
    'The reason for the overturn appears to be the decrepit old railroad tracks which could no longer support the weight of the wagons'.
    Possibly the same train also derailed a few days earlier in Battambang. The reason:
    ' "It rains a lot previous day that land under the rail ways went down", he [an official] say'.
  • What with fuel wagons being derailed and pilfered (see above), more problems behest the fuel situation in Cambodia:
    'On average, 10,000 –15,000 litres are smuggled into Cambodia through Kien Giang Province every day ... the province’s Department of Industry and Trade has instructed oil enterprises to limit monthly supplies to retailers in border communes to 150,000 litre'.
    Darn! No more cheap petrol for Cambodia!
  • How much value are employees to your company? Sufficient enough to give them helmets? Well, Crossing Cambodia would think so. But why would this logical line of thought need to be highlighted:
    'Hence, the hotel [Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa] did something about it – by generously supplying helmets to all staff members. “The staff members were overjoyed as they were given one helmet each for free,” said the beaming general manager.'
  • More non-news: current and most probable future Cambodian PM, Hun Sen, wants his high ranking officials to foot the bill themselves for driving:
    'Hun Sen wants to condition the members of the upcoming Cambodian government with a new measure: the end of all service cars (for VIPs)'.
    Q.: will it happen? A.: don't think so ...
  • Do we have any indication on the situation on the road to Koh Kong? Tales of Asia forum reports:
    'The bridges are now all complete and coaches, a.c. nice seats, toilets, towels and water are now doing the run for 10 $ U.S. It's six hours, with a lunch and loo stop to P.P. so maybe a half hour less to Sihanoukville, no change of bus'.
    Khmer 440 forum adds:
    'A friend of mine said yesterday all bridges are allowing traffic even though two bridges are incomplete'.
    'Regarding the bridges, I took the bus from KK to Sihanoukville and got there in 4 hours without changing bus, all bridges were fully functional. I just wonder if Asean Hotel in KK overcharged me on the ticket, paid 15$ U.S. '.
    A.: yes, but only by 50%!
  • The road Siem Reap-border:
    'nasty weather made the road very muddy'
  • Frizz restaurant has got it's Cambodia Travel guide updated. Why they don't simply put the info on wikitravel is beyond Crossing Cambodia, possibly a potential to plug themselves, though they are a restaurant not a travel agency. From the Dangers and Annoyances section, some sound advice:
    'Definitely the most dangerous aspect of Cambodia: the traffic. This country has a shocking number of traffic casualties, even more so if you consider the still relatively low number of cars.
    In the cities it's not so bad. Although chaotic for the western eye, traffic in cities tends to be slow and when accidents occur it's usually limited to material damage.
    You will see a quite different situation on the roads between towns: speeding cars and old trucks and minivans dangerously overloaded with people and goods. ....
    Many visitors are tempted to hire a moto or even an off-road bike. You should be an experienced driver if you want to ride around Cambodia. Give yourself time to get adjusted to the traffic 'rules' and always wear a helmet!'
  • Then some quirky khmernews:
    'Bus Transports Illegally Luxurious Timber
    A bus, which contained a lot of cubic meters of luxurious log, was stopped by Kampongcham province police. The timber was illegally transported to Vietnam'.
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