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December 22, 2003

I shouldn't mention this,

but what the hell.

I just finished reading a pretty freaky book called Off the Rails in Phnom Penh: Into the Dark of Heart of Guns, Girls & Ganja. This Israel-born American guy, Amit Gilboa, used to live in Vietnam and do loads of "visa runs" to Phnom Penh, and he got to know a lot of the expat crowd there. He published the book in 98 or 99, and a lot of things have changed, but here's a couple of factoids for you:

  • until 1997, pot was completely legal. You could buy ganja from stalls in the market just as easily as you could get vegetables or shirts
  • in 1997, before being made technically illegal, 1 kilo of pot would set you back... $20US. Yes, that's one kilogram, or 2.2 pounds
  • Heroin in 1997 was $50US a gram

    I won't even go into the prostitutes, or how you could shoot off military rocket launchers for $35 a go. Cambodia has some beautiful temples, but there's a lot of messed up stuff here too. Some improvement since the book's publication, but still, a lot of messed up stuff.

    Posted by Ant on December 22, 2003 12:23 AM
    Category: Cambodia
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