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  • Images the life around Cambodia's garment industry, including living conditions and food available to workers on break outside of typical factories.

  • Living among the remnants of America's Vietnam-War-Era bombing campaign in Laos.

  • Travelling by train in Cambodia is a slow affair at best. It takes 14 hours to make the 300-kilometer trip west from the capital Phnom Penh to Battambang, if you’re lucky. Still the route less travelled for adventurous tourists, it remains the main mode of transportation for the poorest of the poor. The rolling stock, mostly cast offs from various European railroads, is now dilapidated, bullet-scarred and the locomotives often break down. After years of turmoil almost none of the foreign investment that is pouring into the country has gone to refurbish this basic transport link.

  • A look at how nutrition affects garment factory work in Cambodia.

  • Images from the Meng Ieng Group garment factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

  • The Mae Salong valley was settled by ethnic Chinese allied with the Kuomintang in the middle of the 20th Century. They had been chased out of China by Mao Tse-Tung's Communist forces. They brought their culture with them and created a small corner of China in Northern Thailand. While famous for growing and refining heroin in past decades, in recent years locals have made their living growing world-class Oolong tea, a trade they learned from Taiwanese growers.

  • The vast majority of Cambodian children work, a labor imperative for their survival and the survival of their families. In rural areas, kids are expected to work beside their parents on farms. In cities, they are sent out to sell flowers, drinks or shine shoes for extra money. Everywhere, as soon as they are able, children are expected to take care of their younger siblings and take up difficult family chores, work that is usually reserved for parents or servants in the developed world. In Cambodia, kids work everywhere, and form a significant, underreported part of the country's economy. Photographer Jerry Redfern’s photographs are not an essay on the horrors of child labor, but an attempt to portray its ubiquity in a culture that expects…

  • Of all the innovations the French brought to Cambodia during their 90-year reign, perhaps the most enduring -- certainly the most ubiquitous -- was a simple loaf of bread. There are fewer elegant colonial-era buildings with each passing year, and French-language studies take a distant back seat to English in Cambodian schools. But every morning Phnom Penh and other towns around the country rise to the smell of freshly baked French bread, sold in loaves that even a Parisian would recognize. Photographer and writer team, Jerry Redfern and Karen Coates visited the January 7 Bread Factory, named for the day the Vietnamese invaded Phnom Penh and ousted the Khmer Rouge. The Factory is tucked away in an alley behind the Royal Palace. A full text is…

  • Since May 2006, more than 2,000 refugees from Myanmar have fled to Thailand, following a military offensive in their homeland. These new arrivals – mostly ethnic Karen – moved into Mae Ra Ma Luang and Mae La Oon refugee camps near the border, joining 140,000 Myanmar refugees already in the country. Life can be difficult in these camps, with limited work opportunities and basic living conditions, and refugees relying on aid organizations for most of their needs. While the locations are beautiful, they are remote, making supplies of food and medical care very expensive. And for much of the rainy season, the dirt roads that connect the camps with the outside world are rivers of mud.

  • For decades, Cambodian law decreed that no building could be taller than the spires of the Royal Palace or the nearby Ounalom temple. Today construction cranes and high rise buildings tower above Phnom Penh’s narrow streets and alleys that are still speckled with colonial era buildings. But an economic boom and increased tourism have placed these historic buildings under the shadow of the wrecker’s ball of development. Many historical buildings had fallen into disrepair through decades of war and rule by the Khmer Rouge. Some have now been restored to their former glory; some refurbishment even funded by an investment fund, Asian Heritage Properties that buys heritage buildings, restores them and rents them out. Photographer Jerry Redfern took…

  • It’s the king of chilies; so hot that villagers in the highlands of Northeast India use it to keep wild elephants at bay and Indian defence researchers have experimented with them as a non-lethal way of quelling riots. About a thousand times hotter than your average chili, it goes by many names, King Cobra Chili, Naga Chili and, among the locals of Nagaland where it grows, Bhut Jolokia. Whatever it’s name few can dispute its fierce bite. In 2007, the Guinness Book of Records declared Bhut Jolokia the world’s hottest chili. Writer Karen Coates and photographer Jerry Redfern donned their asbestos gloves and traveled to the epicenter of this chili phenomenon.

  • The Sandakphu Trail is West Bengal's most popular tourist trek, and the most crowded. The basic four-day walk (you can do in up to 2 weeks if you are so inclined) follows the Sandakphu ridge, squirming back and forth between India and Nepal, starting at nearly 7,000 feet and cresting at 12,000 feet. And if you walk it in December, you have the trails, guest houses and spectacular views of Kanchenjunga almost completely to yourself.

  • The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, known as the Toy Train, covers 53 miles very, very slowly. It takes all day to make the trip between Siliguri on the Indian plains and Darjeeling in the Himalayan foothills. A taxi trip takes a quarter of the time and follows nearly the same path, but then you can't say you've ridden on a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photographer Jerry Redfern and writer Karen Coates went along for the ride.

  • Three decades after US bombers retreated from the skies above Laos, unexploded bombs continue to reap a tragic harvest here. Cluster munitions are the worst offenders, spreading thousands of submunitions that bury themselves in the landscape maiming and killing years later. Moves are afoot to impose a global ban on cluster bombs. From 9-12th November signatory nations to Convention on Cluster Munitions will meet in the Laotien Capital of Vientiane. To put those efforts in context, photographer Jerry Redfern has been documenting the tragedy of unexploded bombs (UXO) in Laos. In this story he follows a retired American school principal, Jim Harris,as he travels through southern Laos warning villagers of the dangers of UXO and detonating bombs…

  • Between 2,100 and 1,200 years ago, an ancient civilization buried its dead in more than 60 caves in a limestone mountain range in northern Thailand. Who were these people? Why were they buried in caves? Where did they go? No one knows, but their massive teak coffins remain. Meager funding has hampered archaeological work aimed at unraveling the mysterious culture. Meanwhile, the coffins are at the center of local people's beliefs in Spirit People, and are a main draw for an ever-growing tourist trade. Photographer Jerry Redfern and writer Karen Coates went to investigate.

  • It took but 30 minutes for the man known as Comrade Duch to confess what Cambodians have waited 30 years to hear. "I am responsible for the crimes committed at S-21, especially the tortures and the executions of the people there,” said the 66-year-old former head of Tuol Sleng, the infamous Phnom Penh torture prison where more than 14,000 victims died during the 1975-1979 Pol Pot regime. "May I be permitted to apologize to the survivors of the regime and also the families of the victims". Has the apology been heard? Many of the aged say they have waited too long for justice. Many of the young know little about the Khmer Rouge horrors. It will take more than the prose of a single gray-haired executioner to bridge this country’s…

  • For more than a decade, writer Karen Coates has reported on news and culture across Asia, and no matter the purpose of the interviews, sources invariably gravitate toward food - and health, and the intersection of the two. In Laos, she learns local insights: eating chili keeps you young, and bitter vegetables fight malaria. In the Kelabit Highlands of Borneo, a villager tells her the water inside an unopened pitcher plant acts as a medicine for the gut. In the far northeast Indian state of Nagaland, tribesmen eat beneficial critters. “We call this medicinal worm,” a Naga woman says at a local market, pointing to a tray of little crawlies. In Asia, food and health are topics at the core of daily life - especially in rural lands. The Asian pantry…

  • Morning jostles Assam, prodding people and animals to a new day. Parakeets shriek from treetops while villagers stoke their breakfast fires. Deer feed silently in the brush as storks and adjutants rise on warming air. The sun creeps slowly over fields and hills, illuminating layers of lifting fog. Kaziranga National Park skitters to life. Kaziranga is the oldest national park in the northeast Indian state of Assam. It was created a century ago as a forest reserve by British Viceroy Lord Curzon at the behest of his wife, to protect the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros. Today the park is home to many endangered animals, including the rhino, tigers, elephants, wild buffalo, swamp deer and numerous bird species.

  • It’s that crazy time of year again, when throngs of Taoist devotees prepare to puncture themselves in every conceivable way, providing one of the planet’s more bizarre and gory celebrations of human spirituality and taking body piercing to new extremes.

  • Years of insurgent violence and government counter-violence have chased away thousands of people from Pattani in the South of Thailand. In spite of this, over the last several years, local entrepreneurs have constructed concrete apartment buildings and home additions all over town to house thousands of new residents. Very small residents. It turns out that Pattani is an ideal nesting location for Edible-Nest Swiftlets, whose small, cup-shaped nests of dried spittle are the key ingredient in Chinese bird-nest soup and health drinks.

  • Bako National Park, on the north-western edges of Malaysian Borneo, is a rare spot where to observe proboscis monkeys, so named for their protruding nose. But the park is also home to long-tailed macaques, silver-leafed langurs, flying lemurs, monitor lizards, civets, vipers, turtles, bats, dolphins, mudskippers, tarsiers, slow loris and more than 190 species of birds. A convenient network of trails and boardwalks allows hikers of all levels to witness Bako’s wonders. Unfortunately, like in so many other places in Borneo, the future is bleak as the proboscis monkey population has dwindled dramatically in recent years, mostly due to mangrove destruction.

  • For centuries, the Kelabit people have lived deep in Borneo's upland jungles, practicing animism and headhunting until missionaries converted them to Christianity after World War II. Before that, the Kelabits erected megaliths where ancestral remains were buried in large ceramic jars, and separate memorials where the belongings of the deceased were buried. These monuments are scattered throughout the highlands, and many remain lost after centuries in the thick jungle, unmapped and unstudied. Today, massive commercial logging poses a direct threat to these ancient cultural artifacts. That's why many Kelabits hope for an extension of the recently established Pulong Tau National Park, to encompass nearly 400,000 acres and the archaeology…

  • Take a large wok, lots of heat, some prawns, garlic, lemon grass, lime leaves, fish sauce and a ton of chilies...oh yes and a sprinkling of coriander and you are well on your way to a Scent of Thai food. Photographer Jerry Redfern followed the aroma trail.

  • Imagine an airport on water, with the big birds flying overhead. Imagine a floating tarmac amid takeoffs, landings and mid-air acrobatics. Exchange the crushing roar of jet engines for the soft peeps of just-hatched chicks: That’s what it’s like in Prek Toal. This seasonally flooded forest on the edge of the Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia is mainland Southeast Asia’s most important water bird nesting area. Recent conservation efforts have nearly eliminated poaching, and the birds are soaring. The area is home to seven rare and endangered species of pelicans, darters, ibises, storks and adjutants. Photographer Jerry Redfern followed the poachers-turned-rangers across the water.

  • Far from the tsunami-ravaged coastlines and hours from the war-troubled north, inland Sri Lanka is covered in tea. It’s a legacy of the British, who planted these hills with a cash crop that still defines the character of Sri Lankan hill country today. The country produces 300,000 tonnes of tea each year, third in the world behind India and China. Thousands of Tamil pickers toil in hot sun, harsh winds and shivering rain. They live with their families in company towns among the hills, surviving on just a few dollars a day. It’s a harsh life in an exquisite land.

  • Sri Lanka’s elephants were once royal property, and killing them was forbidden. Today somewhere between 2,500 and 6,000 wild elephants roam the small island country, where wild lands are shrinking due to an increasing human population. In recent years approximately 51 people and 115 wild elephants have died annually in human - elephant conflict. To help shrink those numbers, the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society has begun encircling villages with electric fences. Where properly executed, it seems to be working.

  • The December 2004 tsunami killed 30,000 people in Sri Lanka, but twice that many have died in a war that just won’t end. For 20 years this teardrop shaped island, south of India, has suffered the tragedy of a bloody civil war. A 2002 cease-fire held a rocky peace, but that has become a victim of the tsunami, too. Sinhalese and Tamils are again at each other’s throats, fighting over Eelam, the Tamils’ historic homeland. The Sri Lankan Government and the Tamil Tigers have agreed to hold peace talks in Switzerland in February.

  • Thousands of mysterious jars lie on the plains of northern Laos. The hidden menace of unexploded bombs dropped during the Vietnam War have kept most archeologists from exploring the area. But Belgian archeologist Julie Van den Bergh is working there with a UNESCO-Lao project to create a new World Heritage Site which would protect the jars, open them to greater tourism, and help figure out just what the heck they are.

  • Pomp and ceremony in Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh. Heralding the end of an era, former ballet dancer and Cambodian Ambassador to UNESCO Norodom Sihamoni ascended to Cambodia's throne . He takes the place of his father, Norodom Sihanouk, who for more than 60 years has been a key player in Cambodian politics.

  • Eighty three year-old Cambodian Choun Nhiem is perhaps the world's best known sweeper. His image has become synomous with Angkor Wat. Though thousands may know his face and his hunched silhouette, few people know anything about Nhiem’s life.

  • Cambodia’s Cham Muslims are under increased scrutiny in the international war on terror. Last year, Southeast Asian terrorist Hambali hid unknown in their midst for months and several teachers were arrested at an Islamic institute in the countryside. The vast majority of Chams remain impoverished and isolated. Chams make up less than two percent of Cambodia’s population and are the descendents of an ancient civilization that fought with the kings of Angkor. They were also singled out for slaughter during the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s.

  • Sambo the elephant is a Phnom Penh idol. Tourists adore her and Cambodians believe she is endowed with mystical powers. But she suffers from urban life. She lives near a squatter camp in a field full of garbage and excrement. Last year someone cut off the tip of her tail. This loveable 44-year-old elephant exemplifies the hardships that thousands of working elephants endure on Asia's streets.

  • Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has recently ordered the suspension of plans for a series of dams on the pristine Nujiang River, one of only two undammed rivers in China. He said that such a controversial large dam plan should be "seriously reviewed and decided scientifically." Yunnan provincial officials had hoped to build a series of power-generating dams along this “Grand Canyon of the Orient,” the upper reaches of which are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dozens of minority groups call the river home, and even the government newspaper the China Daily says the Nujiang River passes through “one of the most biodiverse regions in the world.”

  • Long-distance runner Mok Bonthoeun is Cambodia's only Olympic hope. But with a couple of frayed pairs of running shoes and a bare-bones training programme, Mok's hardest race is against his own poverty.

  • American physician, Dr. Dan Murphy, braved the turmoil of East Timor's transition to independence and now says he will stay indefinitely "doing what he's gotta do".He works in a cramped examination room at the Bairo Pite Clinic. He often sees as many as 600 patients a day, in a personal effort to help as many East Timorese as he can.

  • Mob justice is played out on the streets of the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. A robber is caught and beaten as the police stand by.