Bang. Boom. Bang. Whoosh, Bang. Boom. Whoosh. Bang. Sharp, loud noises of a violent nature seem to be emerging from nowhere. It’s the sort of stuff the vigilant, tremulous international traveller does not need to hear when in foreign climes in 2019.
Fortunately, the cacophony here in Phnom Penh is merely the result of a Cambodian king with an itchy trigger finger. It’s an enervating early evening, the air is as gluggy as a preschooler’s glue pot, and it’s not yet dark. Inexplicably, however, His Highness has decided to launch the pyrotechnics display marking the end of Bon Om Touk – Cambodia’s spectacular three-day annual water and moon festival, which celebrates the end of the monsoon season – an hour or so earlier than scheduled.
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