Author(s): Walter Mason
From the rich tropical city of Phnom Penh, to the wonders of Ankor Wat and the oddly loveable country town of Kampot to Sihanoukville named after the movie-directing, womanising former-king, Walter takes the reader on another colourful adventure in one of the world's hottest new destinations. With his friends, Simon a taxi-driver and unlikely middle-aged gigolo, and Lan a leggy Vietnamese transsexual, he explores Phnom Penh's underworld. He seeks out his old friend Pek, he of the mysterious scars, in amongst the Chinese merchants and the proprietors of Vietnamese coffee houses and Khmer restaurants. Resting in the bars and cafes that line the banks of the river, he notes the strong French influence from a colonial past. He also befriends Mak Suong, a gifted young writer who scandalised Cambodian society with his racy, wildly popular novel about the lives of gay men in Phnom Penh. Walter retreats to the cool courtyard of Wat Koh, an enormous Buddhist monastery in the centre of Phnom Penh, with his friends, both monks - Sim, a big country lad who flirts with girls who come to visit, and dreams of leaving the monastery to marry; and morose, brooding Sakol who unloads his troubles to Walter, revealing how he is haunted by the demons of war, cruelty and murder from Cambodia's dark past.
Walter Mason's distinctive voice, his upfront knowledge of Cambodia and wicked sense of humour meet in this riotous celebration of a remarkable and resilient nation, which has become a great tourist destination.