Women Hunt for Husbands Through Web Site

Cambodian-Americans looking for a home-grown bride can now find their “Queen in Cambodia” on the Internet, thanks to a new Web site operated in Phnom Penh and in the US states of California and Massachusetts.

At www.cambodianlink.com, about 40 Cambodians from Kom­pong Speu province and Phnom Penh have posted their photographs and personal information in order to attract a mate from overseas, said Top Davy, a part-owner of the Web site who lives in Phnom Penh.

“It would be my good fate if I could marry someone who lives in an overseas country,” said one woman who has placed her photograph on the website. “Cambo­dia’s political stability always changes. The security is not good. In a country like America, there is a good education system and my children could have a future.”

The woman said that if she meets someone from the US, Australia or New Zealand and de­cides that he is decent and reliable, then she will marry him.

Clients choose a photograph and send an e-mail to the company, asking for the mailing address or phone number of the woman they would like to meet. The woman’s height, weight, eye color, occupation, languages spoken, favorite food and the kind of man she is looking for are also sent along

Clients can also request photos of the family of the potential mate.

Many of the women are widows, Top Davy said. Most of the photos on the Web site show young Cambodian women, but Cambodians ages 19 to 40 can send in their photos and information.

Clients can write messages to the woman on the order form, and can also send flowers or a gift, which the site promises to deliver to any city in Cambodia.

“If you wish on giving your lady a cash gift, it’s easy. Simply send a check, money order or transfer,” the Web site states.

Cambodians fill out a Khmer language form, listing their personal information and attaching photographs. Later, company officials help choose the two photographs that are posted on the website.

Each request costs $5, but some clients have promised to pay $3,000 out of gratitude if they get a successful match, Top Davy said. She claims she has heard that other ways of finding a Cambodian bride can cost a US citizen up to $15,000.

“The way we are doing it is like an adventure. There is no guarantee,” Top Davy said. In the three months the Web site has operated, there has yet to be a successful match, she said.

Any foreigner can use the service, Top Davy said. But according to the Web site, the service is directed toward Cambodians living abroad who prefer “a serious relationship with a Khmer woman.”

It is also not limited to male clients. There are four young Cambodian men on the website, one of whom is posed at Angkor Wat. One button on the website reads “Woman Looking for Man.”

Eventually, the client comes to Cambodia to meet their prospective mate. But correspondence between the two is encouraged by the Web site beforehand to ensure there is no disappointment.

“We don’t want our clients to be embarrassed,” Top Davy said.

The Web site offers translation from English and French into Khmer, as well as an express mail service. A notice on the site reminds foreigners that “98 percent” of Cambodian women do not have access to a personal computer and do not speak fluent English.

Other Web site co-owners list addresses in the Cambodian-American enclaves of Long Beach, in the US state of California and Lowell, in the US state of Massachusetts. The company has placed ads in Phnom Penh newspapers in hopes of increasing its traffic in the coming months.

(Additional reporting by Matt Reed)


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