Subscribe Search

Search form

Scavenger hunters bedevilled by missing monkey mystery

Scavenger hunters bedevilled by missing monkey mystery


Photo by:
Kyle Sherer

Bill Chalmers, organiser of the yearly  Global Scavenger Hunt.

DID the missing monkey at Siem Reap's Dead Fish Tower die a horrible death after falling into a crocodile pit, or was it mercifully released into the  wild?

This was the conundrum facing Bill Chalmers, organiser of the Global Scavenger Hunt, a yearly competition that claims to crown the world's greatest travellers, pitting teams of two against each other in a series of trials through 10 countries.

The rapid-fire, 20-day itinerary and the checklist of challenges are devised by Chalmers, and based partly on his own trips throughout the world.

But this year, the Siem Reap leg of the journey held more challenges than Chalmers planned for.

When Chalmers arrived in Siem Reap, he was left "stunned".

The town had changed so dramatically since his last visit two years ago that he was worried the tasks on the scavenging list would no longer be

possible to complete.

As luck would have it, despite the forest of hotels that has sprouted up, the town is unchanged enough that the trials remained intact, with one notable exception.

"When I came here last, my wife loved the monkey at Dead Fish Tower," he said.

"So one of the challenges was to go to the Dead Fish restaurant and meet the monkey."

But according to Chalmers, the monkey, kept captive to entertain tourists, had since met a nasty end after falling into the Dead Fish crocodile pit.

Workers at the Dead Fish gave the Post a less dramatic account, saying that after feeding the monkey became too difficult, the animal was released into the forest. They could not confirm whether, as Chalmers insisted, the monkey was named Darwin.

Other Siem Reap challenges included listening to the life story of Aki Ra, the curator of the Land Mine Museum, donating blood at the Kantha Bopha Children's Hospital, shopping for betel at the Old Market and talking to a Buddhist about the "three poisons of mahayana".


  • 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

  • American ‘fugitive’ arrested in Cambodia outside of US Embassy

    An American citizen was arrested on request by the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, according to Cambodian police. Major General Uk Hei Sela, chief of investigations at the Department of Immigration, identified the man as American Jan Sterling Hagen, and said he was

  • 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