Phnom Penh Insider Investigates AsiaObscura

A few months ago, we ran a rather scandalous report on the insane ting mong scarecrows we’d spotted in the jungles of Cambodia. They were terrifying, but we knew almost nothing about them. Our driver was vague, the hotel receptionist insisted she’d never seen them before. So we slapped up the photos, told our story, read the Chinese blogger’s translations of it, and that was the end of it. Or was it?

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One Ghostly Cambodian Ruin

It used to be a retreat. 90 years ago, the French spent 9 months building Bokor Hill Station up as the ultimate getaway: escape from the miserable heat and humidity of Phnom Penh. 900 laborers died while building it, but to the French all these ghosts were worth it. There was a casino, a ballroom, a hotel, and when all the sinning was done, a Catholic church.

But this was a century ago.

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Siamese fighting fish

We’re still deep in the trenches at the taxidermy school outside Beijing, but I thought I’d take a moment to remember some living animals we came across, recently:  Cambodian fighting fish.

The males of the species will live for 2 or 3 years, it’s said, and maybe even 7 or 9 if fed right… but if you stick them together, whoa. Cut that approximate down to a few minutes.