Like young people the world over, the youth of Cambodia are glued to their mobile phones. They sit in cafes and bars, order food from street vendors, and weave their motor scooters through Phnom Penh’s frenetic traffic, all the while their thumbs tapping away, texting, gaming, connecting. In the glitzy shopping malls downtown, they queue outside the multiplex cinemas, eager to watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster, juggling buckets of popcorn and oversized cups of soft drink. And at the end of the night, when they need a ride home, they order a Grab – Southeast Asia’s answer to Uber – or use the Cambodian-designed PassApp to order a taxi, which comes in the form of a tuk-tuk.
That the Cambodian youth of today would be so seamlessly integrated into the globalised world of communications, technology, and entertainment would have been unthinkable just one generation ago.