Decades of economic stasis has helped preserve the core of what is today the largest collection of late 19th century and early 20th century urban architecture anywhere in Southeast Asia. The reopening of Rangoon promises much-needed renewal but, conservationists worry, could hasten the destruction of these remarkable structures.
Harnessing the emotional trauma of one of the 20th century’s most tragic episodes — a nearly four-year ultracommunist revolution that left a quarter of Cambodia’s population dead — the reality TV show “It’s Not a Dream” is jarringly raw.
When residents of Dili voted to elect a new President five years ago, more than a hundred thousand displaced people were scattered around the East Timorese capital in tent camps and gangs of youths exorcised their angst in the street. The scene this year reflected a very different mood.
To increasing numbers of chefs, restaurateurs and foodies, ordinary pepper bears as much resemblance to Kampot pepper as vin de table does to fine Bordeaux. They say that the delicacy and sweetness of Kampot pepper put it in a class of its own.
East Timor's resistance leaders were educated in Portuguese and promoted it as the language of the resistance to underline the historical and cultural differences between the island nation and Indonesia as well as to avoid infighting. Today, many of the practical consequences of the Portuguese language's prominent status in East Timor remain troublesome.
They are now aged and frail, but by historians' accounts, they once conducted themselves with fervor: presiding over this Southeast Asian country's holocaust as leading members of the ultra-communist Khmer Rouge and aggressively purging other regime officials to maintain their grip on power.
The Phnom Srok reservoir in northwest Cambodia spreads nearly as far as the eye can see, providing water year-round for agriculture, fishing and swimming. But the human bones that, according to locals, still lie on the floor of the reservoir tell a different story.
Southern Laos’ coffee fields were devastated by war. Now, farmers are nursing them back to health so they can once again produce world-class beans.
Laos is among the poorest and least developed countries in Asia, and its communist government contends that hydropower, along with revenues generated from exporting it, can underwrite much of the country's progress. However, environmentalists warn that Laos' nine proposed mainstream dams could be environmentally devastating.
Civilian inmates are forced by the Burmese government to serve as porters in frontline operations, where they are subjected to brutality and deadly encounters on a daily basis. In January, the army reportedly received a consignment of 1200 new inmates for their disposal.
Sorng Rukavorn forest became a prized prayer ground at the turn of the century, when a senior Buddhist monk sought an undisturbed location for his disciples. Instead of living in peaceful isolation, however, the monks have had to fend off illegal loggers and corrupt local officials.
Cambodian and Thai troops squared-off for the fourth consecutive day on Monday, the latest in a series of deadly clashes over small but symbolically valued sections of territory along the Southeast Asian countries' shared border.
While visiting home in 2002, Rajendra Tharu awoke in his parent's house surrounded by childhood classmates. They had not come to welcome him back. Since finishing school, Tharu had joined the police; the others, from the same farming village in Bardiya, had become supporters of the Maoist revolutionaries fighting against the government.
A few strategic vertical and horizontal strands of brick, fortified by steel-reinforced concrete, have been laid over the building's original adobe walls. It is among a small fraction of the South Asian nation's schools — or any private or public buildings, for that matter — designed to withstand a major earthquake.
Mae Sot has absorbed a colorful mosaic of migrants and anti-government exiles of various stripes from its military-ruled neighbor to the west. Walk through one of the town's main markets and you'll catch vignettes of life across the border.
After three years of paying social visits, Cambodian journalist Thet Sambath finally gets what he wants from his secretive companion: a sign that the old man will discuss his past as second-in-command of the Khmer Rouge.
Ta Mok was the ultra-Maoist regime's top military commander. In Anlong Veng, an isolated district of mostly wooden homes and crop fields north of Siem Reap, the name still conjures a mixture of worship and fear.
A land dispute in March between a sugar-plantation developer and a small community in the province of Kampong Speu motivated military police stationed nearby to spring into action, ostensibly in order to prevent an eruption of violence. It didn't take long, though, for the villagers to view the supposed peacekeepers as intimidators.
If the Swiss family Robinson were beamed down to northern Laos, they might have come up with something like the Gibbon Experience. Guests live and sleep high in the jungle canopy, and spend the days searching for the elusive black crested gibbon.
For years, efforts to recover the body of Hollywood swashbuckler icon Errol Flynn's son have come up empty-handed. Now, 40 years after Sean Flynn's abduction, two men say they uncovered a grave site in the Cambodian countryside that is likely his — generating a flurry of excitement, skepticism and resentment.
Almost 16 years after Australian backpacker David Wilson was kidnapped and killed in Cambodia by a Khmer Rouge militia, the Australian government is resisting fresh demands for full disclosure of the case file on his death.