Cambodia Travel Guide

Oct 19, 2008

Khmer-Thai border dispute

You have probably heard about the border dispute between Cambodia and Thailand over the Preah Vihear temple. Should this dispute affect your travel plans to Cambodia? Hm, I'm not a political analyst, but I would say: no. The chances this dispute will escalate in a large scale conflict are quite limited in my opinion.

True, the situation is quite tense and may easily get out of hand. Still, even in the event of more clashes at the Cambodian-Thai border, I think it will be limited to that area which is far from any tourist destinations.

The main danger is not at the border, but in Bangkok. The shaky political situation in Thailand could be more dangerous for Cambodia. If the situation there gets out of hand the Thai government may easily decide to be more firm on the Preah Vihear temple, simply to divert the attention from their own political upheaval and - at least temporarily - unite the Thai.

In the meantime and on a lighter note, a restaurant in Phnom Penh, which was called 'Khmer-Thai' has changed its name by adding a 'l': Khmer-Thlai. A bit of a strange move, because 'thlai' in Khmer means 'expensive'...

Anyway, as long as Cambodian and Thai soldiers happily are shaking hands, I'm optimistic the situation at the border will defuse:

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