About Me

I'm a journalist and author based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Since 2008, I have reported widely from across the Asia-Pacific and my writing has appeared in more than 25 publications in the US, Asia, and Australia.
The Strongman of Siam

The Strongman of Siam

With Thailand’s ailing monarch fading from the scene, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha is positioning the military to rule indefinitely — by silencing all dissent.
Vietnam: Forty Years Later

Vietnam: Forty Years Later

Forty years after the war, it is the ideals of the former South Vietnam that appear ascendant.
Forty years after 'Year Zero': Cambodia's young wrestle with a dark past

Forty years after ‘Year Zero’: Cambodia’s young wrestle with a dark past

TAKEO, Cambodia — Four decades ago, on April 17, 1975, the communist Khmer Rouge marched into Phnom Penh and seized power.
The House That Hun Sen Built

The House That Hun Sen Built

The strongman has ruled Cambodia for 30 years with corruption, charisma, and brute force. Now he’s facing the greatest challenge of his career.
Myanmar's wildlife trafficking hotspot

Myanmar’s wildlife trafficking hotspot

Mong La has become a hub for gambling, prostitution and illegal animal products like ivory and tiger bones.
How a Brutal Khmer Rouge Leader Died 'Not Guilty'

How a Brutal Khmer Rouge Leader Died ‘Not Guilty’

A verdict was never reached in Ieng Sary’s human rights abuses case. His story reveals the limitations of international tribunals.
As Asia Rises and Europe Declines, Russia Invests Its Hopes in its Far East

As Asia Rises and Europe Declines, Russia Invests Its Hopes in its Far East

Vladivostok, a Pacific port city long in decline, is being revitalized by Moscow. But the city’s slow integration with China, Japan, and South Korea is clashing with its long-Slavic identity. Can a city be both European and Asian?
Latest entries
Satire, Myanmar-style: Political cartoonists test limits of newfound freedom

Satire, Myanmar-style: Political cartoonists test limits of newfound freedom

YANGON—With a few deft strokes of Beruma’s pen, a jowly likeness appears on the blank page: a caricature of Senior Gen. Than Shwe, Myanmar’s former dictator.
The Future Starts Here

The Future Starts Here

Next month the people of Myanmar head to the polls for a famous general election. With ethnic allegiances, miniature coups and a skewed constitution already in play, the outcome looks anything but predictable
Aung San Suu Kyi courts ethnic vote

Aung San Suu Kyi courts ethnic vote

HSIHSENG, Myanmar — Just before the official campaign period for Myanmar’s Nov. 8 election, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi paid a visit to this township in rural Shan State, where she delivered a speech from the back of a truck beneath a huge red banner and a portrait of her father, the late independence hero General...
Dancing with dictators

Dancing with dictators

Unbowed by prison terms and vicious beatings, human rights lawyer Robert Sann Aung has been battling Myanmar’s much-derided judiciary for more than 30 years
Khmer Rouge's 'first lady,' charged with genocide, dies at 83

Khmer Rouge’s ‘first lady,’ charged with genocide, dies at 83

PHNOM PENH — Ieng Thirith, the highest-ranking woman in the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime, has died in Cambodia after a long illness, according to a United Nations-backed tribunal that is trying former regime leaders in Phnom Penh.
China stirs up ghosts of Khmer Rouge airport project

China stirs up ghosts of Khmer Rouge airport project

KAMPONG CHHNANG — The military airport outside this river town in central Cambodia sprawls out in eerie silence, its vast concrete runway untroubled by any sign of aircraft.
Opposition boycotts parliament as Hun Sen moves to regulate NGOs

Opposition boycotts parliament as Hun Sen moves to regulate NGOs

PHNOM PENH — The ruling Cambodian People’s Party forced a contentious law regulating the country’s large nongovernmental sector through parliament on Monday, amid widespread opposition and fears that the new bill will be used to stifle dissent and muzzle critics of the government.
Myanmar's Internet innovators emerge amid connectivity boom

Myanmar’s Internet innovators emerge amid connectivity boom

YANGON — It says a lot about Myanmar’s tech scene that one of its pioneers is still in his 20s. Htoo Myint Naung was just 18 in 2004, when he built his country’s first mobile phone app — a simple program for sending text messages in the Burmese language.
Death of ruling party veteran boosts authority of Hun Sen

Death of ruling party veteran boosts authority of Hun Sen

PHNOM PENH — The recent death of Chea Sim, a key figure in Cambodia’s politics since the fall of the communist Khmer Rouge regime in 1979, has put a spotlight on the future of Prime Minister Hun Sen, his long-time ally and one of the world’s longest serving national leaders.
Myanmar's hard-line monk looms as key political player

Myanmar’s hard-line monk looms as key political player

MANDALAY — Myanmar’s most notorious monk is clearly enjoying the attention. In the hall where Ashin Wirathu presides, an entire wall is given over to newspaper clippings and large photographs of himself in various poses.
A One-Man Dynasty

A One-Man Dynasty

Thirty years ago, Hun Sen was appointed prime minister of Cambodia. By remaining at the helm of the country’s turbulent politics until the present, Hun Sen now sits alongside the world’s longest-serving political leaders.
The heavy hand of religious police in Aceh

The heavy hand of religious police in Aceh

Since 2001, far-flung Indonesian province has enforced its version of Islamic law, using floggings to punish offenders.