When Somerset Maugham passed through Burma, Siam and Indochina in 1923 — a journey documented in The Gentleman in the Parlour — he described Phnom Penh’s riverside Grand Hotel as “large, dirty and pretentious”.
Steven Boswell’s recently published Kind Norodom’s Head is a tapestry of anecdotal colonial-era gems woven together with temple-spotter minutiae.
A rare venture back into the world of travel writing – it’s been some 15 years – on Kep, Southeast Asia’s next beachside big thing (maybe), as featured in Virgin Australia’s Voyeur magazine.
Sebastian Strangio’s Hun Sen’s Cambodia chronicles the long ascent of the title’s eponymous strongman to the apex of power in a country that has leveraged international guilt and horror over the genocide that took place there in the 1970s, receiving billions of dollars in aid as a result.
Chris V Taylor is a writer based in Bangkok. He has been a guidebook writer, a travel writer and has written commentary and reported for many publications worldwide, including The Wall Street Journal, The Far Eastern Economic Review, Salon, Time, the South China Morning Post, The Age, and The Sydney Morning Herald.
You can find him on Twitter @ChrisVTaylor.