About

Sebastian Strangio is a journalist and author focusing on Southeast Asia. Since 2008, his reporting from across the region has appeared in more than 30 leading publications in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

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Malaysia Wrestles With Beijing's One Belt One Road Bonanza

Malaysia Wrestles With Beijing’s One Belt One Road Bonanza

The sales office for Forest City, one of Malaysia’s largest residential property developments, looks less like an office than an airport hangar or a museum atrium: a futuristic dome flooded with noise and light.
The Fall of Aung San Suu Kyi, Democracy Icon

The Fall of Aung San Suu Kyi, Democracy Icon

Turning “The Lady” into a secular saint only helped Myanmar’s junta.
Suharto Museum Celebrates a Dictator’s Life, Omitting the Dark Chapters

Suharto Museum Celebrates a Dictator’s Life, Omitting the Dark Chapters

Indonesia’s former dictator looms in bronze over the entrance to the small museum set amid the palm trees and rice fields of central Java.
Pankaj Mishra on the Violent Transition to Modernity

Pankaj Mishra on the Violent Transition to Modernity

At the center of gravity shifts east, Pankaj Mishra argues that the West’s own fateful experience of modernity is playing out globally
'Meet Kill'

‘Meet Kill’

When Kem Ley’s murderer was asked for his name, he offered a chilling sobriquet: ‘Chuob Samlap’ – literally, ‘Meet Kill.’
The Rise, Fall and Possible Renewal of a Town in Laos on China’s Border

The Rise, Fall and Possible Renewal of a Town in Laos on China’s Border

For five years, this remote town on the China-Laos border has lived in the shadow of more prosperous times.
China stirs up ghosts of Khmer Rouge airport project

China stirs up ghosts of Khmer Rouge airport project

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.
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.
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
The King Is Dead. Is Thailand’s Monarchy Next?

The King Is Dead. Is Thailand’s Monarchy Next?

Thailand’s revered king held the country together for more than 70 years. But his son’s succession could threaten everything he built.
Crony In the Forest

Crony In the Forest

On Google Maps the Boeng Per Wildlife Sanctuary in northern Cambodia is marked by a patch of theoretical green, like each of the country’s 32 national parks and protected areas.
The 'lawless' playgrounds of Laos

The ‘lawless’ playgrounds of Laos

A Chinese gambling enclave in a remote part of Laos has become a ‘semi-lawless’ zone where gambling, prostitution, and illicit trades flourish.
Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless

Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless

The family of Cambodian dictator Hun Sen sits on at least $200 million. But it might not save them from populist anger.
Activist murder heightens political tensions in Cambodia

Activist murder heightens political tensions in Cambodia

Political tensions are intensifying in Cambodia following the brazen daytime killing of a high-profile activist in the capital Phnom Penh.
Aung San Suu Kyi faces dilemma over controversial dam project

Aung San Suu Kyi faces dilemma over controversial dam project

Since its suspension five years ago, the $3.6 billion Myitsone hydropower project has come to symbolize the bad old days in Myanmar.
Tourist hordes put strain on Luang Prabang’s heritage

Tourist hordes put strain on Luang Prabang’s heritage

The enthusiasm of tourists for Luang Prabang’s heady charms has brought prosperity to the former royal capital of Laos, but is the influx of visitors damaging its cultural treasures?
The new 'explorers'

The new ‘explorers’

In June 1866, six Frenchmen departed from Ho Chi Minh City on a dangerous mission up the mighty Mekong River.
China's footprint kicks up concerns in tiny Laos

China’s footprint kicks up concerns in tiny Laos

The Kings Romans Casino stands out in this remote corner of northwestern Laos, its giant illuminated neon crown towering over a landscape of banana plantations and jungle-clad mountains.
As a frontier economy booms, Cambodia's capital rises

As a frontier economy booms, Cambodia’s capital rises

PHNOM PENH — For most of its history, the sleepy Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh was best known for its charming, tree-lined boulevards and Buddhist pagodas.
North Korea's multimillion-dollar museum in Cambodia

North Korea’s multimillion-dollar museum in Cambodia

North Korea hopes to reap large profits from its new Angkor Panorama Museum in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Spinning the myth of a 16th-century king as elections loom in Cambodia

Spinning the myth of a 16th-century king as elections loom in Cambodia

The former capital of the 16th century Cambodian King Sdech Kan is a sleepy place, filled with birdsong and that particular air of shabby mysticism that seems to surround pagodas in rural parts of Cambodia.