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."

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • Chinese living in Kingdom more than doubles since ’17

    The number of Chinese nationals living in Cambodia this year has increased to more than 210,000. The figure rose from last year’s 100,000, the newly appointed Secretary of State Sok Phal confirmed yesterday. He said: “Of the 210,000, more than 78,000 are living in Preah Sihanouk [province], but