Saturday, March 3, 2012

Tourism in Southern Cambodia

This NYT article extolls the virtues of Cambodia's undeveloped coastline while not failing to include concerns about current and pending development.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cambodia: The Virginity Trade

I saw this short (60 minute)  but affecting documentary at a conference last week. It provokes a lot of thoughts and feelings about sex trafficking in Cambodia, so if you're planning to see it, be sure you have someone to discuss it with--preferably someone with previous exposure to and knowledge of this subject.

"Some Asian traditions hold that sex with a virgin will bring a man good luck and health. Tragically, the custom is far from moribund—in the dark world of Southeast Asian prostitution there is a growing demand for younger and younger companions. This program reveals the disturbing inner workings of Cambodia’s child-sex industry as well as its manifold human consequences. Viewers meet teenage girls who entered the trade as high-priced virgins—some under coercion, others to support their families, all ending up trapped in slavery. Additional interviews feature activists from human rights NGOs such as APLE, an agency with ties to France, and LICADHO, a group based in Cambodia."

"Cambodia: The Virginity Trade' is the compelling and utterly alarming account of the lives of girls and women affected by the virginity trade that exists in Cambodia today. Many Asian men believe that obtaining a virgin girl for sex will grant them extra health and luck. Subsequently, there is a huge demand for young Cambodian girls, and the demand feeds the country's sex industry. 'Cambodia: The Virginity Trade' documents all sides of this nightmarish story of Cambodian girls in crisis. Intimate and revealing interviews are held with the men who buy the virginity of young girls, politicians, the police, senior NGO's and the victims themselves."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Friendship with Cambodia's blog

Here's FWC's blog:

Be sure to check out Lindsay Grace's account of her explorations and experiences as an intern for FWC.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Responsible Travel Guide Cambodia

Responsible Travel Guide Cambodia by Pujita Nanette Mayeda. I wrote the introduction. Your purchase through the Friendship with Cambodia website supports our Cambodian projects; your purchase through Powell's Books supports our projects and a fine independent bookstore.

If you have updates or additional sites to suggest, please contact Friendship with Cambodia.

Responsible Travel Guide Cambodia provides tourists with the resources they need to have an enjoyable and meaningful vacation that helps local people. Arranged by city, the selection of hotels offers options to suit everyone's comfort preferences and budget. These hotels support local humanitarian activities, protect children from sex-tourism, have environmental policies, are locally-owned, treat their staff well, and train or employ disadvantaged youth. This guidebook includes restaurants that are training programs for former street children or are helping in other ways - such as supporting the arts. It offers a wonderful section of restaurants ranging from gourmet to vegetarian and from coffee shops to traditional Cambodian cuisine. Responsible Travel Guide Cambodia lists high quality fair-trade craft shops that are training and employment programs that provide a new start for landmine survivors, battered women, and the rural poor. Shoppers can be sure the producer is getting a fair wage. People wanting to volunteer will find opportunities at well-reputed non-profit organizations. This book explains the pitfalls and deception that volunteers and donors will want to be aware of. It also addresses the problem of begging children and sex-tourism and how caring tourists can help protect children. This easy-to-use guide has detailed maps, good directions, itinerary suggestions, and helpful tips for travelers. It provides extensive background information about the Cambodian people, history, culture, religion and holidays. Travelers who face the ethical challenge of vacationing in a place where most people cannot afford food or school tuition will put their minds at ease when they read this guidebook. Instead of feeling conflicted, travelers can feel good because they are making a positive difference in people's lives. Tourism is one of the biggest industries in Cambodia, yet the majority of the profits leave the country, going to foreign-owned corporate hotels, restaurants and tour companies. Middlemen reap the profits in souvenir shops. Travelers with a desire to give something back to the people of Cambodia will find all the information they need for making sure their vacation dollars are spent well. Profits from the sale of this book support the humanitarian projects of Friendship with Cambodia. These include micro-credit programs for women, education for rural students living in poverty.

Friendship with Cambodia

  • Promotes cultural understanding, appreciation and cooperation through educational programs about Cambodia.
  • Raises funds for humanitarian projects in Cambodia.
  • Teaches kindness, peace and compassion.
  • Promotes cultural understanding, appreciation and cooperation through educational programs about Cambodia.
  • Raises funds for humanitarian projects in Cambodia.
  • Teaches kindness, peace and compassion.