Cambodia Better Times for a Ravaged Land

A royal return and rising confidence give Hun Sen a lift

It is the end of the dry season, and a breathlessness lies upon the land. The empty, harvested rice fields shimmer in the heat, while the broken shells of former schools and hospitals dot the countryside. The supply of electricity is erratic, and most of the main roads out of Phnom Penh peter out within an hour's drive from the capital.

Cambodia is still in appalling physical shape ten years after the Khmer Rouge were driven from power by an invading army from Viet Nam. The country's economy operates at only 60% of its prewar level, its port facilities at just...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!