Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Human work-horse at the border

Human work-horse at the border

Human work-horse at the border

IN the dusty, sweating caldron of humanity that clings to the international border

at Poipet in Cambodia's wild west, a seller struggles with a load of produce from

Thailand that will find its way to local markets.

It's a scenario that is played out every day from 6.30 am when the gates open, to

8 pm when they close.

Hundreds of Cambodians buy one-day permits to work in Thailand and they stream across,

followed by human work-horses pulling their rickety wooden carts, hoping to get paid

enough in cartage fees to put food on the table that night.

Lay Liet, 42, is a typical transporter. He pays 1000 riel for his permit and then

200 to 300 baht (20,000 to 30,000 riel) customs duty on the goods he brings across.

He pays officials at five different locations on the crossing.

"I came a year ago from Prey Veng where there were no jobs. But it's not good

here; it's a hard life and I have five kids to feed."


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Peeling back layers of prehistory in Battambang

    When the man passed away, he had not yet reached 50. He belonged to a tribe that had settled near the Sangker River in Battambang province, likely cultivating the fields and raising animals. On the side, they hunted for boars, and even turtles, one of which