Tips and Tricks from Cambodia

October 18, 2012

" October 31, 1922 - Born in Phnom Penh to King Norodom Suramarit and Queen Sisowath Kossamak

April 23, 1841 - Crowned King of Cambodia by then-colonial ruler France

March 1945 - Japan gains de facto control of Indochina through the acquiescence of the Vichny government in France. Months later, control returns to France with Japan's defeat

1952 - Marries surviving wife Paule Monique Izzi, later HM Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, the final of seven marriages

November 9, 1953 - Presides over Cambodia's formal independence from France, the culmination of a vigorous campaign dubbed his "Royal Crusade"

March 2, 1955 - Abdicates the throne in favour of his father in order to enter politics

September 1955 - Elected prime minister.

August 31, 1959 - Survives a failed assassination attempt against him by South Vietnamese politician Ngo Dinh Nhu.

1960 - Wins nations's first independent election with his People's Socialist Community, becomes head of state.

1963 - Then-King Father Norodom Suramarit dies; Prince Norodom decrees himself head of state for life.

1965 - Strikes agreement with PRC and North Vietnam to facilitate Ho Chi Minh trail supply route

August 1966 - Feature film Apsara is released, the first of 19 feature-length films he would direct

1967 - Policy of collecting rice harvest in a bit to stop the illegal rice trade leads to a peasant revolt dubbed the Samlaut Uprising, which is violently quelled

March 1970 - Prime Minister Lon Nol leads National Assembly in deposing Sihanouk while he is out of the country. From China, Sihanouk calls on Cambodians to support the Khmer Rouge against Lon Nol.

April 1975 - Khmer Rouge take over Cambodia; Sihanouk is installed as puppet head of state.

1975-1979 - Five of the king's children are killed during the reign of the Khmer Rouge.

April 1976 - Sihanouk removed from office, imprisoned in the Royal Palace

1978 - King freed before occupation by invading Vietnamese forces, gives six-hour press conference after fleeing to New York

1979 - Publicly supports Khmer Rouge in opposition to Vietnamese occupation

1981 - Founds political party Funipec

1982 - Attempts unsuccessful political marriage between Khieu Samphan and Son Sann

1991 - Paris Conference leads to Sihanouk's reinstatement once again as head of state. He is later made King.

1993 - Influences son Prince Norodom Ranariddh to accept co-prime minister position with Hun Sen after Ranariddh wins first post-war democratic election

2004 - Abdicates throne in favour of son, Prince Sihamoni. Moves to Pyongyang and later, Beijing

October 15, 2012 - Dies of a heart attack in Beijing "

by Phnom Penh Post, dated October 18, 2012

October 3, 2012

First of all, I would like to apologize as I am going to start it half way. For those who are not familiar with  International Youth Fellowship and World Camp, please spend some quality time on Google or click on the words highlighted in blue: International Youth Fellowship

Before you decide whether to join World Camp 2012 which will be held at Institute of Technology of Cambodia this November 2012. It is important for you to read the reviews below. There are three sections. The first one is a column from New York Times, the second one is a review by my Thai friend and her experience with World Camp in Thailand, and the last one is my experience as a resigned volunteer. 

1. Here is an extract from New York Times: Traveling to Volunteer, Getting Sermons Instead

Key Summary:
  • Clearey wanted to join an "English Camp" in which the total cost was reasonable; 300USD for accommodation, transport, and others. 
  • He found himself sleeping in a room of 5 to 6 people, and was woken up at 5:30AM. They later told Clearey that the teaching is much different and larger agenda which centered on the religious theories of Ock Soo Park, a Korean preacher and founder of Good News Corps, the sponsor of the English Camp
  •  Associates gave supplementary “Mind Lectures” on biblical passages as interpreted by Mr. Park, who asserts that the human heart is lodged with “filth and evil.”
  • Security guards at the doors to the ballroom of the hotel, the Intercontinental in Dallas, discouraged anyone tempted to skip out. 
  • Volunteers who turned up late for 6 a.m. sessions of calisthenics and group massage were ordered to perform squat thrust exercises.Those who skipped sessions were tracked down by teachers and ordered to explain their absences.
“The whole concept of their theology was that your heart is evil and that you need to have an ‘open heart,’ ” 
“I was the victim of a scam,” Mr. Cleary said.
"" ____________________________________ ""
Mr. Park said that before going to Texas for training, the volunteers could have attended local workshops and learned about the religious dimension. Most people knew what would be involved, he said, and of those who went to Texas, only about 20 dropped out before going on to Mexico for the camp, which lasted for three days.
The program for World Camp 2012 in Cambodia as displayed includes Workshop, Lecture by Speaker, Cultural Performance, Concert, Short Course Training, Mini-marathon.

There is no way that I could find "Mind Lecture" in the agenda. Participants are not well informed with the workshop they are going to attend.  
2. Review by my Thai friend: Suwimon 

- Most of the activities is sitting in the hall, listening to "teacher" (he called himself that) talking about testament in Korean and have someone to interpret in Thai
- I think me myself is pretty open to listen and learn, but even that, it was so insane for me, you have to sit like 4 hours and eat and then sit and listen again for another 4 hours.
- In each group has trainer who will blame us when we fall asleep and can't even read a book
- In the evening, there's always a conversation in group, the trainer kind of convince us to change religion and if you seem stubborn, you will be pushed to be invisible
- I do like Christian, and the way they treat the others, they pray for the other is so nice and warm. I like to see them carefree because god loves them, but to accept and believe we have to do it by ourselves, not to be forced.
- My Christian friend doesn't like this org too, she said it maligns Christ
- You know in the states, people talk about Buddhism and meditation, they do practice in meditation camp too. The religion is supposed to be like that, people are supposed to be willing to, not be forced to
- I do believe Christ is a nice religion, it's warm and carefree but just this org spread it not appropriately at all
- Exercise at 6:00AM just like the program in the link above, I think it's pre-world camp

3. Review by Vuthy
- I was simply an opportunity seeker, so I would try any volunteer activities as I was available at that time. I did not know that IYF is something to do with cult, I only knew that it has something to do with building youth capacity and becoming leader. 
- There was the first workshop for volunteers who wish to become an organizer of the event, I attended and was very excited when they showed performances, but later got so much annoyed by the Mind Lecture. However, I decided to stay as it was a chance to volunteer, not to become a preacher. I believe that it's going to be okay as I am not easily convinced.
- I resigned after I heard that the third workshop for volunteers will be held at a beach and volunteers will have to spend a night or two over there. I was afraid that it would be similar to what happened to Clearey; thus, I quit by then. 

Enough explanation? Make your decision :)

October 2, 2012


In Cambodia 
1. Institute: 
According to Chuon Nart Dictionary, Institute refer to location of knowledge, an establishment for doing research, or to study various knowledge.
" (វចនានុក្រមជួន ណាត), វិជ្ជាឋាន ឬវិទ្យាស្ថាន មានន័យថា ទីតាំងនៃវិទ្យា គ្រឹះស្ថានជាទីស្រាវជ្រាវរិះរក ឬជាទីសម្រាប់សិក្សារៀនសូត្រនូវចំណេះវិទ្យាផ្សេងៗ។ "
This definition provide a very wide scope of the term "Institute" which allow even a small private English school to use the term (e.g. New World Institute, American Intercon Institute), mixing with the institute which teach skills like Institute of Technology of Cambodia, Institute of Foreign Languages, etc.

Since we have the term existing in our Chuon Nart Dictionary, I think we should not use the term Institute to refer to the meaning that exist in American system; instead we may give a campus name to IFL :D Because IFL is under Royal University of Phnom Penh; and the sub-division may be called faculty?

However, ITC is a separate institute which deserves to be called a University since it is big itself and it has post-graduate programs. Geographically speaking, I would say ITC was originally under RUPP just like others as I could notice the unique fence starting from RUPP covering up to the corner of ITC. However, at the present times, ITC is very autonomous both administrative and finance.   

A few years ago, not many people were familiar with online shopping since shipping to Cambodia is insecure or rather expensive. However, these days online shopping is pretty popular among the crowds, especially through facebook page. They mainly shop apparels, while some online store also allows us to order other products in Korea with them. The process is that the dealers buy online from other dealers abroad and the goods will be delivered in a week or two. The consumer will receive a call from dealer to pick up their goods. 

Since we are living in Cambodia, direct online purchase by consumers to official website of products (e.g. from are so not popular. Here I would like to share the experience of purchasing online through ebay by using my Paypal account. All I need to is to have a Debit Account at SBC Bank and sign up with myself with After registering, Paypal subtracts 2$ from us and will return after verifying with the 4 digits that they sent to our SBC bank account.

It was 2010 that I wanted to know how it feels like to buy online, so I had the gut to try purchasing a necklace from a dealer in Hong Kong through ebay; and I would like to share some tips with you.

First of all, before you decide to purchase anything from ebay, you should notice the star rate that dealer possess because whenever a dealer receives a complain about their service (e.g., damaged product), the rate decrease. The rate should be above 95% or else you should not risk buying any items from them. Not everyone could give feedback to the dealer to decrease the rate, only the one who already made purchase could do so. Once you bought a product, you will be given a chance to give feedback. Thus, do not give it immediately, you need to wait and see the product to be delivered first.

You know what? My experience was thrilling since the first delivery was lost. The deliverer probably came to my house while no one was at home and did not bother to check again. So, they kept the necklace or return to the dealer. Later, I sent the dealer an e-mail notifying the failure of delivery. He replied that he would send me another one. So, I had to wait for another two weeks, but it worked that time when I told the dealer to place my telephone number on the envelope, just in case the deliverer could not find anyone at home. I needed to give him tip as well. 

The necklace that I bought from ebay
One more thing, you should not buy immediately after liking a product, you may question the dealer about shipping to Cambodia and some general questions about the products. Try to calculate everything before you purchase. The necklace that I bought was from Hong Kong and I agreed with the dealer to send through EMS. You may choose better logistics. However, it is going to cost more.

The second time that I bought online was not from ebay, but from Google Apps with my Google Wallet and it was to purchase this domain name ( Well, you gotta try it on your own and please let me know through writing in the comment box down below :D

Check out Shopping Online With Ebay - Part 2 

Check out Receiving and Withdrawing Paypal money from Cambodia

Do you have more questions? :) I am willing to answer more. Thanks for dropping by. 

Follow by Email