The Roads to Ruins

"You must understand," says Mony, my guide, with an ominous little smile, "that the roads in my country are, ahem, less than excellent."

In fact, the roads in Cambodia are literally the pits: bone-rattling ruts that can shake old fillings loose and pop your contact lenses out of your eyeballs.

Depending on the season, they are either impassable bogs or dusty, potholed nightmares. "Ass-shatteringly bad," one visitor warned me. "I had back problems for weeks," confided another. Indeed, when I told my driver I wanted to go beyond Siem Reap's asphalt to sample the...

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