Cambodia – The Laziest Nation in the World

There is something to be said when it comes to the laziest nations in the world. Most publications associate laziness with what people do (or NOT do) in their spare time, after all duties have been taken care of. To me, that’s a fundamental mistake and doesn’t reflect on the laziness at all. People who bust their butts off so they can have some time for themselves are not lazy. True laziness comes to play when an entire nation can’t get the work – the necessary duties done because they can’t be bothered to get off their soft motorcycle seats. And this is why Cambodia is the laziest nation in the world. Everywhere you go, any time of day you will see hundreds of people of all ages idling in the streets, doing absolutely nothing just killing time by hanging loose. You will be wondering why they are all out here doing nothing. You will be asking yourself – shouldn’t these people be at work and kids at school? How can a nation sustain itself if nobody can be bothered to do any work? Those are all legitimate questions and anyone who pays attention will undoubtedly have them cross their minds upon their first visit to Cambodia.

Photo: Lazy Cambodian Youth Killing Time With Their Motorcycles
Photo: Lazy Cambodian Youth Killing Time With Their Motorcycles

History of Cambodia – The Laziest Nation in the World

It comes as a striking contrast when one visits the temples of Angkor Archaeological Park and sees the megalomaniac structures Angkorian era civilization was capable of constructing. Could the laziest nation in the world built the world’s largest religious complex? Obviously, Cambodia a millennium ago was different from Cambodia today – aside from being a culture of violence, as Cambodians are as violent today as they have always been.

So Cambodians were definitely not lazy back then, back when the temples of Angkor were built, but what happened? That I guess is as difficult to explain as is the abrupt end to once powerful empire. Ancient Khmer rulers were on top of the game and controlled the region but then something happened and Angkor was abandoned. Everything about the Khmer people, everything – including their approach to work has changed. The end of Angkorian era was the end of decent Cambodia. The empire failed and so did the people. People who were once capable of building monumental structures are nowadays capable of nothing more than idling and doing absolutely a great deal of nothing. Unless verbally and physically abusing foreigners can be considered an activity. Luckily the former can be done from the comfort of their motorcycle seat…

Photo: Once Capable of Building Monumental Temples, Now The Laziest Nation in the World
Photo: Once Capable of Building Monumental Temples, Now The Laziest Nation in the World

The fact that Cambodia is the laziest nation in the world is not something I am the first person to notice. When the French entered the area and colonized the country in the 1800s, they noticed that Cambodians are incredibly lazy and never get anything done. No matter what they’d tried, no Cambodian could be bothered to get off their ass so the French were left with one and only option – go to a foreign land and bring the people from there to work in Cambodia. Vietnam was the closest and since colonization of Thailand was never much of a success for the French, Vietnam it was. Obviously, it wouldn’t matter where they’d go as any normal nation will have many people who can get the work done, it’s only Cambodia where there was absolutely no one who could be bothered.

Cambodia – Still the Laziest Nation in the World

Today, centuries after the French learned the hard way that nothing in Cambodia gets done because Cambodians are extremely lazy, the situation is unchanged. Cambodia is still the laziest nation in the world but the French are no longer the only ones to know it. Following the industrial revolution, many multi-national companies moved much of their production to Asia and have factories in countries surrounding Cambodia, but none of them is in any rush to open one in this country. Now why would that be? Obviously, they know something that prevents them from making a grave mistake of investing in Cambodia and employing Cambodians. It’s their money and money of their shareholders that are in stake and as such, none of these companies will ever consider opening a factory in Cambodia because they know that nothing would ever get done.

You will find countless garment producers, such as Nike or Adidas, or electronics makers, such as Samsung or Siemens in surrounding countries (Vietnam, Malaysia, etc.) but none of them would consider opening a factory in Cambodia. So why is given that cost of labour in Cambodia is often lower than cost of labour in any of the surrounding countries? Why would they not consider opening a factory in Cambodia if there is a prospect for them to save money on wages? Do they know something we don’t know? Yes they do. They know that no matter how (seemingly) inexpensive the labour is in Cambodia, because people here are the laziest people in the world, at the end of the day nothing would get done.

See the Laziest Nation in the World for Yourself

It doesn’t take a genius to see that Cambodia is the laziest nation in the world. Anyone with marginal observation talent will notice that people here can’t be bothered to work. They just sit around whole day on their motorcycles, hiding from the sun in the shade, grouping up with buddies who are as lazy as themselves, killing their time they have too much of by verbally or physically abusing the foreigners. This laziness is present on every corner of every street in Cambodia and it is one of the reason why Cambodia is so dangerous. Because vast majority of population is not involved with their lives, they are not busy looking after their families so they seek excitement from the comfort of their motorcycle seats.

Those who spend an extra time in Cambodia will notice that progress in everything is extremely slow. When there is a construction going on, you will see people sitting around and chatting instead of getting the work done. That’s why every serious firm looking to open a retail shop or a hotel will contract foreign companies to built the business for them. Contracting Cambodians would mean the business will take forever to start.

Photo: Common Picture in Cambodia - Instead of Being at Work, Lazy Locals Just Sit Around
Photo: Common Picture in Cambodia - Instead of Being at Work, Lazy Locals Just Sit Around

Laziness however exists in all walks of life in Cambodia. Kids don’t go to school because they can’t be bothered to learn or do the homeworks. Are you kidding me? A Cambodian kid learning at home to maybe become someone more than a tout who makes abuse of foreigners their life purpose? This ain’t happening.

Cambodia – Most Expensive Labour in the World

When you look deeper into it, you will realize that the cost of labour in Cambodia is one of the highest in the world. Average monthly wage could be only $90, but given how extremely lazy Cambodians are, you will get at best 2 hours worth of labour per person per month. So by paying a Cambodian $90 a month, you are basically paying them $45 per hour. Normal Cambodian is so lazy they will not produce more than 2 hours worth of labour a month and do not forget that that’s only upon excessive supervision and investment of extra 10 hours of your own time to fix up what they had screwed up during their 2 hours worth of work. One really needs to put things in perspective before jumping to conclusions that Cambodians are underpaid. I could only wish I got $45 per hour for my work.

Photo: We Were Hired to Work, But Can't Be Bothered to Kick In
Photo: We Were Hired to Work, But Can't Be Bothered to Kick In

Supporting Cambodian Laziness

Shockingly enough, the world approves of and supports Cambodian laziness. With each dollar donated to Cambodians, with each piece of merchandise that makes it to Cambodia, the laziest nation of the world remains assured that they don’t have to try to change, that it makes no sense working hard for a dollar. If doing nothing lands them free money and things, why would they even attempt to work? Work has been excluded from their lives for centuries and there’s never been more reason to stay lazy than there is now. The philosophy is simple:

Let us do nothing and enjoy our lives without worrying about work, because work requires sacrifices and is tiring and distressing. Instead, let others go through the hassles and tension of employment. Let them work hard their entire lives, struggle for decades to eventually make it up the ladder, renouncing their spare time, their families and friends, let them dedicate the best part of their life to working for the man, instead of spending it with their loved ones, because by wearing themselves out working, they will eventually manage to save a few dollars up and that’s when we enter their view and have them send their money, the money they worked so hard for to us. That’s it – if you are too lazy and irresponsible to work, just whine about being poor and you’ll end up getting money from someone who was brought up being responsible and sacrificed their best years for work.

Photo: To Be Fair, Here Is a Picture of the Least Lazy Member of the Cambodian Society
Photo: To Be Fair, Here Is a Picture of the Least Lazy Member of the Cambodian Society

It is no secret that countries with strong work ethic are successful on an international scale. Lack of work ethic often means lack of character which is something that anyone who pays attention notices shortly after entering Cambodia. Most Cambodians will prefer to look and stay poor so they can get free stuff by getting sponsors to pay for them or donors to give it to them. An alternative to this is to roll up the sleeves and start to work hard for your money but that’s work, isn’t it? Why work if you can get stuff for free by whining out loud? Cambodia is without doubt the laziest nation in the world. You can see it everywhere you look, but it’s also proven by no interest in Cambodian labor from any multinational corporation and historical records of people who tried to make Cambodians work but failed. I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.

76 thoughts on “Cambodia – The Laziest Nation in the World”

  1. What you’re saying makes perfect sense, Mark. Many European countries were literally destroyed by two world wars. Whole cities were levelled to the ground, loss of life reached unprecedented numbers yet when the wars were over, people rolled up their sleeves and got to work. 30 years later, many of these countries became economical superpowers.

    Comparing Cambodian genocide to WWI and WWII is like comparing a mosquito bite to Nikki Catsouras’ accident aftermath. Obviously, since damage done to Cambodia was nowhere near that of Europe, fixing Cambodia would be like climbing a mole hill if fixing Europe would be akin to climbing K2.

    Yet here we are, 30 years later and Cambodia is nowhere near where Europe was 30 years after the end of World War II. Would Europe rebound after 30 years had people who lived there acted like Cambodians?

    What you’re saying definitely makes perfect sense. Lamenting will not fix a country. Hard work will. That’s why Cambodia remains where it is today. The laziest nation in the world.

    1. H.Y and Mark. Greeting. I think you should be smarter than this as I believed that you two are from the civilized countries but you did not look to every where. Cambodia did have both the lazy people and smart and potential people. Cambodia does have bad things and good things. Cambodian have done something bad and also something good for people from the world. Just to show you two bad and ersiuos examples from my life when I was just in the two European contries that. First time when I was in Sweden, I was robbed. Second time when I was in Switzerland, my computer and cell phone were stolen. These is because of lazy people in these two countries. So, we together should look every where not just bore and write a composition. Be smart and help to make a difference of the world.

      1. I’m from Cambodia. I’m not insulted by this article. Mark did raise some valid points proving that most Cambodian people are lazy indeed.

        1. But calling Cambodian people lazy in general is indeed racist. I am Cambodian American and sadly I never enjoyed my visit to Cambodia for some reason.

          1. I have made a trip to Cambodia two times. In my second time I really didn’t feel welcomed in Phnom Pehn and most of the people there……they made me feel really uncomfortable (such as a crowd holding up signs and looking the other way! Annoying if you understand feelings.) >:(
            But the good thing is that there will be at least a few people who are polite and helpful. But from my experience you can find very little benefit by hanging out with selfish and envious people.
            I don’t mean all Cambodians but I do mean all of mankind.
            And if some people get me as a Cambodian American guy you can feel really uncomfortable around some people.

    2. Diminishing the genocide of almost 2 million people the way you have with this statement is abhorrent. Unlike the European genocide, the Cambodian one killed off almost all the educated people in the nation at that time and forced those that were left to flee the country. They were then occupied by Vietnam for a further 12 years without the benefit of very much external aide and many hundreds of thousands more of their population died from starvation, preventable disease, lack of clean water and continued attacks from both Vietnamese occupiers and remnants of the Khmer Rouge fighters who were hopeful of gaining back their power.
      Today, more than 60% of the population are under the age of 20, and have been schooled, in many cases, by people who were never able to complete school themselves. The occupation and conflict in this nation has barely been over for 20 years and in the 30 years before that the nation and it’s people were devastated.
      Comparing a 30 year conflict and the decimation of almost half a population to a 6 year conflict, shows you are commenting on something you clearly know nothing about.

      1. Dear Jasmine,
        1) Who killed almost 2 million Cambodians from 1975 to 1979?
        2) Would you prefer the Vietnamese not to overthrow Pol Pot in 1979?
        3) After defeating Nazi Germany, American troops have been stationed in Germany to this day. Are the Americans occupiers of Germany? If not, then why do you call the Vietnamese troops who rescued Cambodians from Pol Pot’s genocidal rule as occupiers?
        4) If the Vietnamese did not remain in Cambodia to ensure the sovereignty and security of Cambodians, Who would have done that? The Cambodian people? If the Cambodians were strong enough to ensure their own sovereignty and security, why did they not rise up to overthrow Pol Pot themselves? Why did Cambodians have to wait for the Vietnamese to rescue them from Pol Pot?
        5) Why do Cambodians believe that Vietnamese people are evil and cruel when the facts show that despite repeated massacres of ethnic Vietnamese living in Cambodia since the days of Lon Nol, to Pol Pot, and up to the present day, the ethnic Cambodians living in Vietnam have not met reprisals from the Vietnamese?
        Here is a link to an article reporting about Cambodian children begging on the streets of Sai Gon:
        After reading this article, I would like you and your Cambodian friends to answer this question: If the Vietnamese people are evil and cruel as some Cambodians believe, then who have given food and money to help these Cambodian children survive on the streets of Sai Gon for so many years?
        6) Finally, I came across a few comments from Cambodians responding to Mark’s article accusing him of being racist. Is it not racist for Cambodians to kill Vietnamese living in Cambodia for no reason other than the fact they are Vietnamese?

    3. Dear H.Y and Mark,
      I am Cambodian people i feel your written is unfair for Cambodians and also your written it doesn’t make sense because you know nothings from Cambodian people and country as well. You are really wasted your time to Cambodia because you have learned nothings from this beautiful people and country.


      1. I have been obliged to live here in Cambodia for 7 years, I have to wait for my money back on investment. But really he is right, this place is shit and people are lazy and racist, crooks and usually clueless. So I concur with what he says and I hope NGOs will stop pouring money in here and give it to African countries who deserve help much more.

    4. I strongly agree with you. You said my mind and there is no way that Cambodia will get better of life standard. The extremely lazy and never want to make a difference.
      Investing in Cambodia would be a waste of money.

  2. It’s hurt to read this but it’s true. I studied hard, I work hard. I do not stay at home just to cook and look after the children, I hate the culture of how they treat women. I hate their habit of no urgency. I hate the way they live their life by just sitting around and waiting the money to come. Yet I do not wish to see anyone would refer Cambodian as lazy or in another meaning useless.

    I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just expressing how would one actually feel. Not every Cambodian are lazy. The person whom should be part of the blame is Gov and Media. What do they show on the TV? Concerts, boxing and concert. Did I mention Boxing? Yes, Boxing. Nothing but the meaningless medias and noneducational programs. And what they do to the educational ones? They banned them. What do they do to the free speaking journalist? They banned them (not officially though)

    The unhealthy trend of how they live their life have been injected to the young generation one by one. Doing nothing is a good. Being rude is cool. Going to university just to get famous and romance. All just a piece of crap.

    I don’t see any bright light at the end of the tunnel. All I can do is to accept the fact that we are now referred to world most lazy nation from the eyes of the world. That’s just plain painful.

    I wouldn’t thank you for writing all these. I wouldn’t hate you for writing the truth as well. I just wish we can do better, not to please you, but to claim our name out of that little black book that you’d like to call it The World Most Lazy Nation, not for you, for ourselves.

    p.s. your blog is very informative.

  3. Hello Soph,

    what Cambodia needs the most in new government. There will be little to no improvement in the lives of ordinary Cambodians for as long as your current government stays in power. Trouble is, that their grip on power is so strong, none from within Cambodia could get rid of them. They are the most corrupt governmental body in the world with full control of the military, the police, the judiciary system and the public sector. It will take an intervention from abroad to remove them from power but that’s not likely to happen. The West blindly sends them more money which they use to strengthen their power grip on the country.

    Your government is the reason why there is so little progress in Cambodia. General population is deprived of quality health care and education, creating society that lacks in both regards. Healthy and educated populace are the fundamental stepping stones of a prosperous society. But healthy and educated populace would also understand that it’s their government that’s the real cause of problems so I’m not surprised they deprive you of these fundamentals.

    As another commenter said above – if you consider how far Japan got in 30 years from destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or how far Germany got 30 years from thorough annihilation during which many cities got levelled to the ground, you will understand that Cambodia must leave the reign of Khmer Rouge behind and move on. The excuse that the country went through a lot during the Khmer Rouge years should not be an excuse to not strive for progress.

    Your current government, the very organization that systematically keeps the people of Cambodia impoverished must be made go. Do not ever give them your vote again and educate everyone you can on it so they understand the real reason why 12 Million, out of 14 Million people of Cambodia live on less than $2 a day.


    1. Thank you Mark for your concern about my country. I do appreciate that and yes of course you have got your points – many points. However, that does not make Cambodia the laziest nation in the world plus, you cannot compare Cambodia to Germany or Japan since they experienced a complete different kind of wars. You may want to do some more research about Khmer Rouge before you judge us and our government.

      You are right that we are poor, not well educated, we are lazy and we corrupt, but these items are juz giving each other its reason of why they’re still here, why they remain inside us since the fall of KR. Trust me Mark, the western does not blindly give us support for no reasons. Things always happen for reasons.

      Talking about CHANGE, that is really something extremely huge. You cannot simply change Cambodia by removing the current gov’t and replaced by the new one. And talking about NEW, that is also an extremely huge question mark (?) on my head since NEW does not mean better.

      What Cambodia need the most is not the new government, but a better education and more supports from you as well as from developed countries – we need a better society not the new government – we need more LOVE not HATRED.

      We are making some changes, Mark…and I don’t mind walking slowly since there is no option yet for me to walk fast.

      I am so sorry if u have experienced a very bad time in Cambodia. And I hope you forgive us for the lazy pictures of our people if they have turned your mood down. After all, thank you for visiting Cambodia.

      1. Hi Mark and Rio,

        Although what Mark has mentioned is not 100% true, I could somehow 50% agree with what he said. I’m a Cambodian too. It sound like you Mr. Rio is taking the government side. That’s why you don’t want to change it. I would tell you that main factor of all this issue is the stupid Vietnamese-puppet government in Cambodia. You don’t have to wonder why there is not much development in Cambodia. That puppet government has no intention in developing Cambodia. It is just taking order from Vietnam to destroy Cambodia once and for all. You speak like a well-educated person, but I think you dumb enough not to be able to see situation in your own country and still don’t want to change that stupid Hun Sen government!!!!!!

        You said you are happy to walk slowly. Really??? For 30 years, Cambodia is ruled by that ignorant Hun Sen. What has he developed in Cambodia in 30 years? What has he done to Cambodia? Look at up to what level of development have other countries or Western countries reached today????

        So think again, kiddo!!!!

      2. You mean Cambodians are so useless because of war? What does it have to do with anything? Why hide behind a 30 years old war? Cambodia is shit, not because of the past, it’s shit because of now.

  4. Blaming the media and the government without blaming the immoral greedy cambodian women(who “snatched” my husband and my home without a sense of shame) or who do not know how to behave morally and who do not know how to bring up their children properly is just abit unfair. And it is also unfair for cambodian to blame westerners for their immorality when the greedy cambodians are already well known for being so laidback about their own cambodian immorality..

    1. I’m very sorry to hear that. As a Cambodian myself, nothing could ever depress me more than seeing how rotten my society has beckme. However, like mentioned many times above, it’s too soon to pass this judgment. Greed is in everyone’s heart, no doubt about it, but I believe it was a desperation that drove Khmer women into doing what they have done to your husband. I’ve seen it too, I’ve talk to them, and way that Cambodian women see western men: their single ticket to a good life.
      But again I’m really sorry.

      1. I lived and worked in Thailand, Indonesia, Senegal, France, Switzerland, Korea, Malaysia and visited quite a few other countries for travel such as Japan, Tanzania, Holland, Greece, Lao and more… and Cambodia has really a long way to go to catch back. Not because the highest IQs were exterminated a generation ago, that’s unfortunate and true; but the problem comes from the fact that since then they have the sentiment that the rest of the world owes them. Everything should be more expensive for foreigners, nothing works, nobody wants to do a proper job… they are racist, lazy and overall useless. In all my life living in various countries, Cambodia is the worst I ever saw. You are maybe part of the 1% that has brain in this country and people like you should not try to find excuses, you should rather start an ass kicking movement to wake your brothers up.

  5. Hi Mark,
    I got the link to your blog from a Cambodian friend. And, I’m also a Cambodian. It is really unfair to all the Cambodian people and to the country, itself, when someone just write on the blog that Cambodia is the laziest in the “world”: The reasons for that is: first of all, your particular bad experience in Cambodia can’t be used to generalize the whole population. Anyway, I’m really sorry for what happened to you during the visit. For example, when someone is just robbed during their visit to a country, is it fair to call that country a country of robber? This would be unfair to those who are honest, hardworking families who try to make their country proud and everyday work for the progress of their country. Secondly, what measures did one use to measure the laziness of a country? A few pictures on the blog don’t tell a whole lot of stories. Otherwise, with a few examples I experienced I can’t hesitate to call Australians and Americans are the laziest who prefer staying idle and waiting for unemployment benefits to coming to work even though a shop called to offer them the jobs. Finally, there are people who do have good experience visiting Cambodia who are inspired by the smile of the people who understand the root cause of the issue in the country who understand the need of the people who always want to be better persons and as an inspiration to help these people, they have devoted their time, energy and wealth in this small country. I can’t hesitate to give an example of a French couple at the PSE Cambodia and there are more of them. I as a Cambodian do appreciate and am thankful to their contribution to the better of my country.

    Having said so, I do admit that the current gov’t is part of the root cause of delayed progress and poverty. We do need a change. We do need to move faster. However, your blog stories attack most of the part on the people, the culture we inherited as a nation rather than the government and leader or the governance. However, I did see your comments on the government to Soph.

    To me: when one can’t make any better for this world, please don’t try to destroy it.

    S. Lim

    1. I lived in China for 11 years and in Cambodia now for 2. Chinese as a whole are much more abrasive and loud than Cambodians but also MUCH less lazy and definitely WAY smarter. Cambodians just can’t seem to get the simplest task right. When questioned they just stare at you with this vacuous expression. Does not really matter though since China owns most of Cambodia now anyway through rampant corruption and will own it all by mid decade.

  6. Declining an unsuitable creepy job does not necessarily meant laziness. But Cambodians who used their socalled poverty or lazy asian culture to exploit and rip off unwary poor foreign tourists just to make some easy money is just one of the obvious sign of lazy cambodian culture. Cambodians should stop depending on foreigners to improve their country. It is the Cambodians who were guilty of destroying their own country and it should be up to cambodians and cambodians responsibility to improve their country .

  7. Longman Dictionary difines LAZY as not liking work and physical activity, or not making any effort to do anything [=idle]. Declining a creepy job is not an act of laziness, but preferring being idle to work is. I cannot see using a strategy to extract the surplus from the buyer is called a lazy culture. I’m sorry to tell you that the easy money those Cambodians make from the tourists is called consumer surplus in economics. In a market with imperfect information, the seller can set the price as high as s/he wants to, but ultimately the buyer is the one who decides to buy it or not. And, if the offered price is less or at least equal to the level that a buyer is wlling to pay; then, thats a match. Both sides benefit. Look this up in introductory microeconomics at consumer surplus and producer surplus. This is the strategy the airliners, mobile phones, Microsofts, Apple are using everyday in their businesses. Again, this is not called a lazy culture. Believe me or not. Go to a theater, a shopping center in a museum, things are twice as much expensive as those outside or even more.
    I do agree that the responsiblities lie with all the Cambodian people to build its own country. Noone is going to come and make you rich or the aid from those foreigners are not going to help you out of poverty, either.
    However, when the leader loves his power more than the people, when the leader never wants a change which makes people more educated and their lives better, when a leader everyday goes out there and declares he will cling to the power until the end of his life, it is a desaster for a nation. Corruption is everywhere. Students have to pay extra money (plus transcript fee) to get their transcript issued; parents have to pay money to get their kids birth certificates.
    At the same time, we also see the improvement although very slow, the changes although very little because of the conditions tied to the aid. Several research has supported the positive relationship between aid and growth. However, I also do believe that a country should not depend aid to help grow its economy, but I also accept that aid at the very least has helped the worst get a bit better. And it is the people of its own who are the builders. I also want to see a complete change in the government, a change which ensures an active rebuild and reform of the country and the government that create, build and sell.

    1. God you must be stupid, Economics, or “household management” , sure you don’t even have an idea of what that is.. is something that has been regulated.
      Cambodia, and their markets, has not. What you are taking about, its rip-offs, and, what goes around, comes around.
      They think they are poor, they have no idea, but they will.

  8. I think it unfair to overwhelm any consumers with lousy service or substandard service due to the lazy nature of ther service providers. A hard working community would seek at all times to give the best choce and to give more choice to the consumers and not limit to only certain substandard choice or or provide the poor consumers with no choice at all. That is not really a hard working community, though it may appear to be superficailly so. Tourists may have no choice or make the wrong choice in travelling to a horrible place but still tourists have a right not to be exploited by substandard or horrible services at an unreasonable high price. I don’t subcribe to working for a lazy society who are only interested in profits but not quality. Creepy jobs that lead to immorality or harm to consumers should also be avoided. Hardworking jobseekers should have a wide range of jobs to choose from. Whether the job is menial or not is not the issue. It is how the society work on the menial jobs and the respect and the effort that it gives to any jobs, no matter how menial it is or how lowly it is that gives the person respectability and not what job the person holds. Asians in general have a very poor attitude toward menial jobs and looked down irrationally on people who worked on menial jobs. People who have an idle job that don’t need much physical activity or effort, can also be considered as lazy though they have a job title and though that does not meant to be demeaning to them in anyway. Those women who involved voluntarily in creepy jobs such as prostitution just to enrich themselves or feed their greed is also creepy and immoral. Making an effort to be morally upright as well as positively productive is a balance that any society that wish to advance itself should try to achieve and not the mindless greed that asians or cambodians tend to go for.

  9. And furthermore, I noticed many asians or cambodians, even when they have a real paying job or business, they make very little effort to improve and most often stay idle. I would not like to be in an idle job with almost nothing to do. It would have bored me to death. If I get paid, I like to be active and doing lots of work and not having to sit down with nothing to do.

  10. I think not many people are that lucky to have connections or have a real paying job continously and therefore if they were forced to be idle out of no choice, that is not really laziness.
    The laziness was most probably imposed by their unfair society that caused all the laziness and demotivation. But I do find a problem with a backward society who have so much resources and who are habitually lazy even though they have a real job or get paid to do a job.

  11. S. Lim should take note that Australians and Americans whose western forefathers had worked hard and they themselves who had worked hard to to contribute in a small way or big way, have a right to share whatever benefits that their western countries generously gives out, whether it is unemployment benefit or whatever benefit becaue they are entilteld to it or because they fallen on bad times and not due to laziness. What S. Lim should take note is that asian immigrants like cambodians who had immigrated to western land for an instant good life should not be given any welfare or financial benefits because they are lazy and not entilted to it and because their asian countries governments are selfish and never help foreigners in need or their own unemployed people. It is time asian governments helped their own asian people instead of forcing their asian poor to beg from western tourists. This not only gives out a very bad image of asian people but also proved that asian governments are not only selfish but also uncaring.We don’t need any fake smile from the cambodian or any asian people. We just need some honesty and some decency.

    1. WLIL,
      These are completely noted. The word ‘entitlement’ carries some meaning. You know what I mean.
      S. Lim

  12. S. Lim, let me tell you, Cambodians ARE the laziest and most useless people on the face of this earth! You’re even too lazy to teach your children ANYTHING, like NOT to play on a street or NOT to run in front of a car or NOT to scream like pigs all day – or to learn how to drive like a human being and NOT like a headless chicken – you’re even too lazy to cook proper meals.On top of that, Cambodians have no honor, no faith, no imagination, no grace at all. A bunch of arrogant, ignorant, greedy, lying, thieving, cheating yama-ice addicts is, what ALL of you are. Try to prove me wrong – you can’t! I have many Thai, Indonesian and some Malaysian friends and buddies but in almost 4 years I was not able to find ONE Cambodian worth the dirt under his finger nails! Non of you looks for friendship, you look only for your advantage. After the Thais attacked the temple 3 years ago, I heard many Cambodians shouting:’Why everybody look down on us?’ I did not understand back then, now I do! The way you look down at monkeys is exactly the way everybody is looking down at Cambodians. After living for 1 year in Australia, one year in Indonesia, 9 years Thailand and having never racist thoughts, 1 year Cambodia was enough to make me a raving racist. Cambodians accomplished that.

    1. Felix.

      I understand where your anger comes from. I have lived in Cambodia for over five years, have been driven to the brink of insanity numerous times and have now finally decided that this is simply not a healthy place to be and that I need to relocate to a place which resonates more harmoniously with my personality, values and goals. I have done enough insane ranting and am now trying to apply a controlled analysis to the situation – for the benefit of my soul and the process of healing and moving on. I was so angry that it made me sick and now I am finally arriving at the acceptance phase.

      Yes, there are very, very, very serious problems in this country – and it is only getting worse. The superficial signs of progress brought on by the general flow of capital and productivity to the Asian region are just a facade and beneath the surface many things are getting worse here. The international community keeps dishing out the free money under the guise of development aid, but the reality is that it is all just part of the process of opening up and exploiting the “emerging markets” (Cambodia being one of many such markets). The mutlinational corporations depend on revenue from these markets partly because those in the developed world are drying up. As a result of this the ethics of the situation are overlooked for the sake of achieving the ends. That is, the development aid which is being given to Cambodia should by ethical standards not be allowed. The donor countries are well aware of the obscene level of corruption here. The fact that they know this makes them guilty of corruption as well, because – let’s face it – according to the legal systems of the donor countries it is illegal to continue to fund any organization which is knowing engaged in illegal activity (ex. drug trade, human trafficking, terrorism, etc.). This is one basic reason why the aid simply needs to stop. It is an illegal allotment of funds. The other reason is, of course, that the aid money simply makes the population dependent and less motivated to provide for themselves.

      I spent much time enraged at watching the obscene display of $100k Hummers and SUVs with their drivers who likely don’t have high school educations. I have spent much time enraged at the rampant materialism of the younger generation who have no sense of how destitute their country would be if the aid money stopped flowing and simply have no knowledge that their country was reduced to rubble just one generation ago and was still immersed in civil war only within the last decade. I have spent much time observing the increasing negative attitude of the general population towards foreigners, the arrogance of people are too simple and ignorant to realize how close they are to the country descending right back into civil war, the lack of prospects of the young generation as they are too naive to realize that their abominable educational system is lucky to land them a $60/month job in the service sector of the economy.

      I can go on and on, but the main point is that I have realized that there is nothing that can or is being done to really change the situation and so it is time to move on.

      The world has offered as much as it can to Cambodia and at some point the Cambodians are going to have to help themselves or suffer the consequences. The main problem for the past few decades is that the international aid and easy tourism income has prevented the Cambodians from suffering the consequences of their decisions and thwarted them from making their own decisions.

      However, the reality is that the world economy is now entering a very negative period and all of that juicy international aid and tourism money is not guaranteed to continue flowing. What will happen then?

      What will happen is that the Cambodians will be forced to take control and responsibility for their own fate and the end result will be that they will either sink or swim.

      It’s time to stop feeling sorry for Cambodia and it is time for Cambodia to start learning to take responsibility for itself.

    2. Felix,
      I can’t imagine a hard-working person (I suppose you are) can spit such words from one’s mouth. Want me to prove you. This is me: A PhD candidate graduating this year. I have been sitting up till 2 am for 6 years. You want to know what I teach my kids: they can write English at 2. They do subtraction and addition at 3. At 4 they know all time tables, do multiplication and division and read story books without any help. Plus, they can solve complicated puzzles themselves. This summer, they’re going to a talent program at Northwestern University. By the way, they (twins) are just 4 years and 8 months today.
      I am just a proud parent.
      S. Lim

      1. Ah. So, S. Lim, you taught your children all the tricks in order to ‘succeed’ in career, and you did in the Chinese fashion style: train them at a very young age before they can learn to think for themselves and begin to question you…

        But did you teach your kids to see other human beings as – human beings and not something to use for personal gain and advancement? Did you teach them to give a shit?

        Cambodian people smile a lot, but inside – they are as cold as ice.

  13. Felix, the way you wrote really harm people. It’s hurt to read through your comments. How can you say all of these? Do you know all Cambodian people? You dare say Cambodians are the laziest and useless people on earth but maybe the one that is not as lazy as Cambodians do not have any great achievements to show the world?? How far have you and the not laziest people done something good to contribute to the world that you dare to accuse Cambodian?? One year in Cambodia is enough to know every one? You can’t judge all people by your negative mind. I don’t know which nationalities you are but everywhere, there are nice and evil people. If you know anything good and would lead to do anything useful, please guide the laziest ones. I think they are willing to learn. Guiding is better than blaming.

    1. He is totally right, and the 100’s of thousands of people that write daily every day about this (unless old fucks looking for almost teenagers, or dumb fucks that think that a 2$ drink is more important then all that, or Cambodians… or , of course the Religious saviors, NGOs, blablabla).
      there is probably more people that will not come back to this country, that actually lives in this shit hole.

    2. I agree with Mark and Felix, but also with you, sp. The one thing that I do not agree with is that ALL Cambodians are lazy. This is simply not true. I have a Cambodian friend and she’s brilliant. It is only one, but this means one cannot generalize!

      On the other hand, I have a Cambodian boyfriend and the attitude of him and his family sometimes drives me crazy! They are, as sad as it makes me to say this, too lazy to do anything. Too lazy to study English, too lazy to keep a well-paid job…. And then they complain that they do not have money. The cousin of my boyfriend had a well-paid job in an NGO in their village. But she was simply too lazy to do it well so she got fired. The same happened to her successor – we were two people she had to cook for. Altogether we gave her 10 000 riel per day for preparing lunch for us. After we got some shitty lunches we told her to write down how much she spent – well, one day only 4 000 riel which means she put 6 000 riel into her pocket. Additionally, she got a fixed salary from the NGO for cleaning. Her cleaning was sweeping the floor in the kitchen for 30 seconds and another 30 seconds in one classroom. As far as I remember she got 28 USD per month, which is a lot for the village, and which is a lot if you think that she spends around 45 minutes working a day. After we told her we can cook cheaper ourselves, she was fired. These kinds of things make me angry!

  14. There are something true in the article, but the writer might have not looked at most of the aspects into Cambodian context. Just looking at one part about Cambodia is not enough to title this article as “Cambodia-The Laziest Nation in the World”. Literate people will not judge a nation with just what are seen though eyes which take place in some parts of the country. Also, there would be a question, “have you ever visited all the nations in this world before judging Cambodia as the laziest one?”

    1. your are just arguing, and your way, is from the 90’s…

      wake the fuck up, you are the one not helping anybody

      lets save the 1 example!!!! and fuck the millions of thousands of foreigners that come to help, and get fucked over and over.

      you GO literate girl!

  15. I think the above comments are abit bitter to take in. One have to look at past 40 years and what had happened. In 1970’The USA bombed Cambodia during the Vietnam war which left about 6millions mines in the whole of the country. From 1975 -1979, up to 3millions Khmer were killed during Pol Pot regimes. From 1979 to 1989, It was under the control of Vietnam after it invaded Cambodia and get rid of Pol Pot regimes. But Pol Pot still basically control about 1/4 of the country. So there is still Civil War going on. How can a country developed if there is a civil war. Even the bringabout of UN election to Cambodia in 1993 didn’t make any success. The country only come to free of war in 1998 and since then the economies was running at double digit growth till the 2008 Global financial crisis. So to say, given the right amount of time, and also free from control of other country like Vietnam, Cambodia will rise to the same height as it neighbouring country.

    1. ones has to look over the last 40 years of the whole world, and not this country alone….

      actually, the last 100 years…..

      stop reading books made to manipulate people emotionally to bring money so all this dumb fucks can drive fucking hummers, because “that’s”where the money goes…

      and if you actually had a clue… take a look how many people die every year today in Cambodia, multiply that by 4, and you will get more people then the genocide together… (knowing that the genocide.. is probably exaggerated by this lairs by nature upon the millions) because is in their nature….

    2. Hi Pat,
      Please read my response to Jasmine and answer the questions I have raised with Jasmine.
      Here is a link to prove that Vietnam does not control Cambodia and Vietnam does not have the power to give orders to the Cambodian government:
      Please stop blaming Vietnam and scapegoating Vietnamese people for the failures of Cambodians.

  16. Here, I would like to tell you all a fact that all of you might not know about Cambodia. I read that someone said for 30 years, Japan and Germany did grow their economy, were you all here in Cambodia in 1993 or 1997? In 1997, Cambodia still had a civil war and the country was still unstable. counting that, it is only 14 or 15 years. so let wait and see what will happen to Cambodia in the next 15 years!!!
    P.S. you will never know what a thing really is if you take only one part of it into your vision.

  17. Mark,

    When I was in Laos, a German couple told me that Laotians are the laziest people on the face of this earth because they don’t do like working hard at all. They even said that they would want to bring over their Cambodian friends whom they used to work with to Laos. Even though I saw a few guys on the street lying down, I didn’t call it the laziest nation in the world.

    When I was in Vietnam, people told me to be careful with scams.

    When I arrived in Africa, people warned me of day light theft and robbery.

    Mark, your personal encounter with thieves and “the murderers’ who attempted to kill you for almost nothing really affected this one of all the articles you’ve written.

    I would rather read your personal experience but your final judgement which can be proved wrong by many hard-working middle class Cambodians. You met some bastards, of course, but you haven’t met ones. Tell me why you haven’t met the ones that strongly contribute to the change in Cambodia.

    You are using what we call “hyperbole” to describe the culture and general situation of Cambodia, just like “Joel Brinkley” did.

    I don’t disagree with things you said in the article — but it’s just not correct to call the Cambodian culture “a culture of violence.” Because you haven’t talked to “every single Cambodian” you can find inside buildings and houses besides all the few men you saw on the streets, one can’t definitely say that the culture is such or make a generalization about a culture or a country.

    You talked about the abrupt end to the awesomeness of the Angkorian era — that means you’ve learnt something about the country, for sure. I also came across in a book a part which said that compared to Vietnam, Cambodia was full of such lazy people that the French colony didn’t want to construct buildings or build school/universities. Very little was left after the French decided to bid farewell. Different from Cambodia, Vietnam worked harder and drew more attention from the French.

    This country was blessed for some time but then has been totally fucked by the leadership of many kings after the Angkorian period (what we call: civic wars) which had worn out people for so long… There were stories that set Cambodians against Vietnamese — when the French called Cambodians to join classes with Vietnamese, the Cambodian parents didn’t let their children learn –> cycle of poverty and ignorance. Under the so-called French protectorate, Cambodia was in deep shit because of the good-for-nothing leader who was fed by the French all the time. Later, another atrocity swiped Cambodia’s progress. You already read the fact that the intellectuals were smashed, and the old generations you see today are only remaining soulless bodies whose innocence was taken away from them.

    Felix, how are they supposed to teach their children not to shout like pigs or not to go to school when they never went to school themselves? when they were forced to give up school for hoes and paddy fields? Its found out that most of the Cambodians aged up from 40 suffer from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Only people who have relatives that went through shit really know what shit is.

    But the crimes that were committed against you, Mark, were really frustrating — I tell you, Mark, though I am a local, I never think of going near a jungle alone. I know what this country has gone through, and I know what to expect from people who never have an exposure to the city and education.

    Then again, nobody with the right mind travels to Asia with expensive things hanging on to themselves. You can’t totally blame the thieves — they are everywhere around the corners in Asia. But the levels of intensity are different from one country to another, I admit.

    That’s why there is what we call “Internet or guide books” which help travelers do more research about ‘dos and donts’ before coming to each country.

    A traveler can’t expect Cambodia to be just like their own country — the historical and culture experiences that you and others have gone through are different.

    Mark, by taking pictures of the cow and a few men on the streets and judging Cambodia by calling it ‘the laziest nation’ is again a total bunch of jokes. You are a mature man, and I reckon that you would have done much more than that to prove Cambodia is the laziest nation in the world.

    As for Cambodia is one of the most dangerous nations in the world. Hyperbole, period. But I can totally understand why you said that — due to the experience you’d had in Cambodia. Like I said, you are supposed to know a few dos and don’ts when you arrive at a certain area. It’s sad but true.

    I hope in 10 years, Cambodia might be under a different leadership and young bright people will change this country.

    1. I have not a slightest doubt that robbing and scamming foreigners is a lucrative business. I’ve never met a foreigner who’d spend more than 3 days in Cambodia and wouldn’t have gotten robbed during the course of their stay. With millions of unsuspecting tourists robbed of hundreds of dollars and thousands scammed out of 4 to 5 digits by fake NGOs and other unscrupulous operations, I’m not surprised that income of average Cambodians has grown over the years. The more tourists come to Cambodia, the more tourists get robbed and/or scammed.

      There had been no truthful information about Cambodia anywhere to be found when I made my trip. With all the misleading reports purposefully leaving out the inconveniently harsh truth, there is no wonder so many foreigners fall victims to Cambodians. I take pride in offering full truth, not half truths so people who may consider paying Cambodia a visit know what to expect – in reality, not in fantasy.

      Take away “income” generated by ripping off foreigners and then tell me how well the economy of oh so hard working Cambodians performs.

      There is a difference between being laid back and being lazy. You can see laid back people in Laos. They are not lazy, there is activity and productivity in their lives but when all is said and done, they kick back and enjoy a relaxing rest of the day. Cambodians on the other hand are not laid back. This is not the way it is in Cambodia.

      Two years after writing this post, I stand behind every single word I said. Two years later, I visited many countries, had encounters with many people and it just enforced my knowledge that spending time in Cambodia was a waste. There are so many nice people all over the world, so many positive experiences to have – I shouldn’t have wasted so much time in Cambodia where people are hostile and always look to take advantage. My trip’s been amazing since leaving Cambodia. I regret ever going to that place and will never ever make the same mistake again. What I can do is pass the experiences I had on so other people can make more educated decisions when choosing their vacation destinations.


      1. Dear Mark,
        Hey man, your assumption is not empirical. you said you’ve never met a foreigner who’d spend more than 3 days in Cambodia and wouldn’t have gotten robbed during the course of their stay. Are you sure you have met all foreigners visiting Cambodia? If foreigners were robbed habitually by Cambodian peoples, why so many foreigners are now enjoying their lives in Cambodia? Many of foreigners are hanging out in PP; some have even settled down in Cambodia; some have been enjoying working in Cambodia. I used to interview a Canadian living in Cambodia. He said he has a Cambodian wife here, and he now has a daughter. He said he never wishes to return to live in Canada. He said that although there are a lot of complicated problems here, you have to deal with them. Is Cambodia the only country that has robbery??? Hey man,,, look at the bright side. To me, your remarks about my country are not feedback, but they are just criticism and insulting.
        PS: I admit there are a lot of problems in my country, but your remarks tend to make my country the worst in this world.

  18. Cambodians are so used to receiving money and life sustaining items for free, they have no incentive to engage in productive lifestyle. You can find Cambodians in western universities yet none of them paid for any of it. There always is a stupid foreigner who gets tricked by their foolery and pays them for international travel and studies. I was in debt for 20 years to study at the uni in my home state and now it’s full of Cambodians who came for free and will get out of it without debt. Support your local kids, people. Don’t waste your hard earned cash on leeching Cambodians.

  19. Mark,

    I think you’re onto something here. The script that tracks what people searched for to land on each individual page caught my attention. I loaded up WordTracker and went to do a bit of a research on how many people search for “Lazy Cambodians” and related terms.

    Turns out there are 15 to 25 thousand such searches made from people in English speaking countries alone a month. I’m sure there are thousands more from Korea, Russia and other countries who search for info on Lazy Cambodians in their own languages.

    I think all these searches are made by people who returned home from their trip to Cambodia and thought to themselves: “Is it me, or are Cambodians the laziest people in the world?”

    So, is Cambodia the laziest nation in the world? I can’t say for sure, but it is something that thousands of people notice every day and wonder what the deal is. That, I think says it all.

  20. Hello Traveling Mark:
    You are not the first one who noticed that, I did long before, because my father was the minority, from China. He left China around 1935 to Cambodia, and I was born there. My father and/or many people from China were working hard and they getting richer. Later, the communist occupied in 1975, I was there slaved them (communist) and was brain washed as same as many others families. They treated us although the second class. They hate capitalism and American is one of most hated, but they did not know that Cambodian was slaved China, because China sent mines, bomb and all other killing weapon to Cambodian so that we can kill our own people. They also sent bicycles, shovels and many others. Those supplies China sent to Cambodian were traded with production of food, that’s why we produced crops but we did not have enough just to eat. Communist regime need to pay back to China. I don’t have anything to prove except I was there seeing it. The supplies they sent us were junk liked, example new bicycles were used one to two week they tend to be brook down, as same as the shovels. Those two thing I know because shovels I used them and bicycles I had seen the higher class were using it. China sold them to us junk because we have to buy them with no option. I comments on this article only by my memories born there gown up there. There are many thing that I am not going to say because I kind of give up on the isue, but I just want to release something on my mind for making me feel better. To support the original article, since I was born 99% if there’s not all, Chinese Cambodian families, when it come to arrange for their child to get married or was arranged by others. The most priority is to see if the other families is Chinese Cambodian and/or have some blood of Chinese because the believed and then Cambodian without mixed blood are lazy and I also had seen and agree the idea. I wrote this comments, have no room to demonized Cambodian because I am Cambodian. I only give my piece of mind, and that’s is all. Without, evidence except from what I remember. Example, there is some group (they call themselves) patriot, all they do is demonizing Vietnamese invaded our country but they did not say, the reason that happen was and is now because of the ancestor of king and/or the power grabber got married with Vietnamese pretty girl and gave some portion of land from time to time. I study Cambodian history when I was in school before communist and I also have seen that happening. Cambodian people have to know and fix our problem before blaming other. Thanks, please do not email me because I’m not going to read it, i will only delete it.

    *by the way, I have to read and write, but I happend to see one comment about American bombed in Cambodian before communist, I happen to be there and I was running from to save life. But, beside all that, why American bombed then? Was it not because of Khmer rue (Polpot) the communist regime killing our own people? and they blow themselves up in te crowed of civilians, the theater and many other places that could kill many innocents? All the communist want is the grabbing power and live on. Also, wasn’t it that the group of Cambodian (not communist) who asked American for help. The same way that Vietnamese came in 1979, to get rid of polpot regime? I know they lost a lot of lives there. Please brother and sister look for cause and fixed if and all other symptoms will faded away. At the end I pray for Cambodian to get smarter work hard for our family individual as a group. Before blaming other see ourself first.

  21. Now I stay in here ( Cambodia) it is true…Poeple here so lazy and dont like to work hard . They think about the work look like come to playing. I mean dont seriously. Everyday they like to sleeping. And they work look like people pass way. Dont have feeling. I accept Khmer people here so lazy and talkative. Dont have responsibility in every thing. Every time when they talk look like just to pass . dont have anything in their words. And they like to tell a lied . They dont alert in his job. That why this country look like go to the babarian countries.

  22. I’m a Vietnameasy – a tour guide, I’ve been in Cambodia 3 times and I have lot of friends in Camb, they tell me alot of thing about Cambodian. According to his story, that’s true, many of Cambodian very lazy. Maybe they have along time in war, and they receive alot of aid.
    But if you’re a traveller, dont panic it. It’s a country worth to visit

  23. A lot of Bachelor and Degree holder, but 90% of them can’t be better than a fellow high school fella in my country.

  24. Work attitude similar to a mule, you need to kick them for the move a step..
    Mental attitude a very philosopher, have a lot of opinion and stubborn attitude..
    And don”t disturb them when lunch time..

  25. I agree with you, Hungry. It is just another horrible asian country that is full of bad attitude, souless and meaningless.

  26. From Cambodian people!!
    Generally nobody can know you like you know yourself. The same to Cambodian people also, “No other Nation in the world that can understand Cambodian people like Cambodian people”.

    I am once of the Cambodian people. Everyday I try to study and work hard still have no free time from sunrise until sunset. Most of the people in Cambodia are doing like this such as Farmers, Factory Workers, Teachers…

    Because Cambodian has just finish from the Civil War in 1979. So the economic in Cambodia is so weak and it is developing day other day.

    In the other hand the people who you wrote that they always seat on the Motorcycles and keep doing nothing, In reality the are not sitting and doing nothing like you think, On the contrary they are working and earning money for their life and their family, Because it is their job.

    Everyday I have been seeing many foreigners come to Cambodia for their Holiday. So do you think that they are lazy also or not? I think that you also travelled to other country for the holiday also.

    It is just a Cambodian student comment for this article that you write like that to all Cambodian people.

    Sorry for my mistakes and my English.

  27. Undeniably, there are some lazy Cambodians who spend their time do nothing. However, this is just one part of Cambodia. You can’t just see this and make a generalization of Cambodia as a whole. There are some certain reason that such a thing happens in Cambodia. you should see all the different perspectives before you come up with such a writing. You writing is good, but it doesn’t make sense.

  28. I’m a foreigner who has been residing in Phnom Penh for the past two and half years. My comments are based on my personal experiences. Where do I start? I came to Cambodia full of great enthusiasm , energy and an open mind.In addition, I was looking for inspiration. Cambodia has rendered the aforementioned extinct. I have never met so many ignorant, arrogant, racist, irresponsible, lazy, apathetic, spineless, self-centred and immoral people in my whole entire life.
    If you think ignorance is bliss, you’ve never been to Cambodia or met a Khmer.

  29. Thank for your thoughtless article, I do appreciate for some points but the rest are wrong. Please, You can’t compare us to more modernized or developed countries. Do more research especially our Historical background. Anyway, thanks for your interests in my country

  30. I agree with you, Mark. I’ve lived in Phnom Penh for 4 years! I noted that many Cambodian people like to complain, They want that but they don’t do for it !
    To develop our country, We need to develop how people think first !! My dear country !

  31. Hello, Mark!
    Thank you so much for saying the truth.
    However, I challenge you that you should have not said in overall, but in particular percentage. I beg you to express your opinion in % not in general.
    Hope you understand!
    Kon Khmer

  32. Dear writer,
    i am Cambodian student studying in China. i take classes with Chinese students,and one day my Chinese teacher who has read ur articles told the class that Cambodia is a lazy country. As he didnt know m a Cambodian,he didn’t know it wasa offense to my nation. i almost cried when he told everyone like that. Not all people are lazy, (those people on motorbike seat are motor driver,they don’t move because traveling around will cause oil n oil are pricey, they have some kind like a so-called stop where clients can find them and get a ride to somewhere).
    i have read thru all the comments,and the one that has caught my interest the most is about cambodian students get scholarship while the students do not . How many Cambodian students have gotten such opportunities so far ? 1 million or 2million ? all i can say is less than 10thousands. Civil wars have completed ruined our culture and scholars, and that is why we need to educate more people. m really sorry for yr 20year debt ,but we really need people with knowledge to educate our next generation. (Cambodian families have too low income and they cannot pay for kids to study abroad, and all we need is bringing some knowledge back to our country to make some improvements ) I remember my Chinese lecturer has told me that to develop a country everyone in the state has to have better thoughts n better knowledge. m not in favor of any country ,but m here in china seeing thousands of Africans studying here . they are here for knowledge as their country are still developing. we all need help. scholarship aren’t given for nothing for exchanging,there are economic contracts and politic stuffs going on the background .
    M very sorry for Mark ‘s bad experiences in Cambodia. I’ve been to other countries,too. n while i was in the hospital ,my phone was stolen. in China too ,my phone was almost stolen. everywhere isn’t safe. in US there are crimes and robbery. the difference is only number.
    All i want to say is to know a person ,travel to a far place with them . to know the country better,stay there and work with people there. Yet don’t just work with a small numbers of people,u.might be unlucky n repeat ur bad luck all over again. work with students,work with mid -class workers ,types of people who aren’t so starving by poverty.
    i am now in China,i cried a few times when Chinese people shouted at me ,but i am not saying they are rude at all. i would rather not judge a culture or generalize a bad part of specific people to the whole nations. i told myself ibarely understand tthis culture,and i have to understand more. i have may foreign friends ,some fromAfrica ,some from Russia,some from Europe. My african friends always act violently and i wondered why,i asked them and they explained me. i dont hate it ,and i accept their nature and befriend with them. My Italian roommates are dirty ,and i dont say all Italians are dirty.u ccan say m an optimistic nerd,but m pleased to travel anywhere because i wanna be amazed by the difference and the uniqueness of all countries in the world.
    in the end,assumption is not a good way to judge one thing. not scientific at all! Data pls!

  33. The one thing I said that even Americanized Cambodians agree with:
    They will eat with you, laugh with you, cry with you and even share their home with you but they will not think twice about robbing you either.
    This is the experience of many missionaries in Cambodia.
    Of the laziness, even the Thais and the Lao were famous for their laziness. So to single out Cambodians is unfair. What is vastly different between Cambodia and its neighbors is the helplessness which they are resigned to. The Thais and the Lao have managed to rise above cultural laziness by driving themselves hard in times of economic difficulty. The Khmers on the other hand are quite happy to let the savagery of the times take over them. This is why the genocide happened. They were unable to galvanize as a people and organize against the evil around them. This is the key feature of them as a people.
    Singapore was a shit hole before Lee’s leadership transformed that island-state. Cambodia needs good leaders with a vision and not some power-paranoid moron who has zero-leadership skills. You can judge a good leader when he can toe the line with his own cronies under him. Cambodia’s leader depends on the support of the ‘warlord-underlings’ who cut up Cambodia’s economy into fiefdoms. There are different government mafias such the customs, immigration, police, commerce and taxation. They butcher up the country and give their due to the man on top. So in truth the man on top is really powerless. He is up there on his styrofoam throne because the warlords let him stay there.
    The one thing about Cambodians I will present which no one has ever posited: they are cowards. They will refuse change because do not have the stomach for it. They will just let the tanks roll in. This is why they will never initiate change on their own as people. They did with their vote in 2013 . It was stolen from them but they are okay with that.
    There is a saying that goes: people only get the government they deserve.

  34. Though Cambodians are lazy, they cannot be con roared to Europe. Europe tool less time to developer because of the staggering amount of disposable income collected due to natural resources. Cambodia on the other hand has nothing much to offer in terms of resources. As for wood, the government placed strict control on the export and rice isn’t worth much.

  35. I adored this post. It’s not universally true of course, but stereotypes are borne from general prominent behaviour. You have highlighted many reasons justifying my impressions formed over here, the poor French! There are many apologists for this behaviour, but such a view doesn’t fly with me, nor my ex-soviet satellite state girlfriend whose country was levelled, most of it’s middle class educated people carted off to gulags, culture oppressed and left with outdated infrastructure when they triggered the break up of the USSR. I have not managed to find a single Cambodian who can sympathise or even has a clue about the problems in other countries. White people are rich, have it easy, and live in the land of plenty. Time to move on.

  36. How dare you say this about Cambodia, you should be a shame of yourself. I’ve been there 4 times in the last 9 years. So sad how you look upon on us Cambodian.

  37. Sadly true!! But most of Cambodians people are uneducated and they cannot read this fact true about the country.
    I have seen people sitting around for a whole day playing card, drink and they get nothing done. I believe Cambodia will remain poor forever. This is a very bad system country and people shouldn’t visit Cambodia at all. Visit anywhere but Cambodia.

  38. To generalize an entire population is wrong. And to minimalize their genocide is insulting and horrifying and hurtful. Please tell my mother that the genocide is equivalent to “a mosquito bite” when she still wakes up screaming from her memories.

    The country is a mess, yes. They have such unexplored beauty that are trashed because they do not understand the purpose of preserving it. But when the country is run by a corrupted politician who has no inclination to better his own country, you cannot expect the citizens to. These people have been beaten into submission, and they have been borne into a culture where their purpose is to just get by. There is no pride in themselves or in their country, because there is nothing to be proud of. Anyone who tries to travel and work to better Cambodia, is often beaten into silence. When there can be implementation of a strong leader, that will make all the difference. The country needs change. And in this land, change has been suppressed.

  39. I’m in Cambodia right now. I’ve been to India, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam and as much as I wanted to LOVE Cambodia I have to agree with some of the article. I’m not saying that I feel all Cambodians are lazy; however, it is indeed a problem. My biggest issue traveling here is the cost of everything some thing being 3x what they are in western country which is nuts considering this is a developing country and it’s not easy to get around. In my opinion Bangkok was much more affordable with so much more to offer and I never felt like I was trying to be ripped off left and right. It is sadly true that white people are seen as “walking atm machines” as I saw written by another blogger. I was told the exact same pants, bowls and such as are being sold in Thailand for $5 are $10 here in Cambodia. The food is twice as much and the service is crappy so as I said I sadly agree. I did have an amazing tour guide for Angkor Wat and have had good experiences here but I don’t see a reason to come back because the other 70% have been crappy. Cambodia feels like a rip off. That all being said, I have thought as to why I feel this way? I wonder if killing an entire generation or rather generations of intellectuals, artists and such just left mostly uneducated folks who don’t understand how to work, not beg and be fair productive people. I’m sure it has to do with the horrible things that happened here as well as many other things. I didn’t think Cambodia was as bad as India but it’s coming in at a close second for me. I never plan on coming here again, but while here am grateful for the good moments.

  40. Cambodia was probably a terrible place during the Khmer Empire, as it was a highly hierarchical society with the large swathes of the population reduced to slavery. The penalty for run-aways was gouging out of the eyes. Nice folks. Can’t believe their descendants went nuts and murdered a quarter of the population…

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