Elizabeth Briel, Travel Artist

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Tales from a Cambodian Train


Richard was a talkative student traveling home to visit his family for the weekend

Think bandits and pirates don’t exist anymore? In many places protection money is the price you pay for going home. Bandits terrorize the weakest in society, and have many guises. But they’re not all dapper dressers like Johnny Depp.

Five years ago I was painting and printing on Cambodian silk and teaching photography to kids near Angkor Wat, and made occasional trips to explore the country and hone my travelwriting skills.

Here’s my story of a train ride through the Cambodian countryside, where I encounter a beer-swilling bandit, giggling factory workers and students headed to their home villages to celebrate the Festival of the Dead, and my perspective from the cattle car.

This has been featured at my publisher’s ThingsAsian travel website. Read the story here.

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