Tharum's blog musings from Cambodia
/ October 17, 2016 / Comments Off on Khmer film event at the Chinese House in Phnom Penh

Khmer film event at the Chinese House in Phnom Penh

7 years ago today

More photos here as copyrighted by Sweet Memory Studio.

/ October 14, 2016 / Comments Off on From Twitter to coffee chat with Jose B. Collazo

From Twitter to coffee chat with Jose B. Collazo

Morning coffee chat with Jose B. Collazo, a self-claimed ‘accidental expat’, about Cambodian/US politics and how foreign businesses starting out in Phnom Penh. And of course, compared note on social media/communications landscape.
From Twitter chat to coffee chat. @josebcollazo thanks again for the coffee treat! A good chance to check out Starbucks flagship store Boeung Keng Kang 1.

Starbucks BKK, the Phnom Penh’s first flagship store by the American coffeehouse chain. Wondering whether Howard Schultz ever dreamed of opening the store in the far east country like Cambodia when he first started out.

To learn more about Starbucks, you might want to check out this book by Howard Schultz the CEO.
‘Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time’

/ October 7, 2016 / Comments Off on Professor Dumbledore to run Hogwarts University of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Cambodia?

Professor Dumbledore to run Hogwarts University of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Cambodia?

Phnom Penhers woke up with a major news story of the month, published by The Phnom Penh Daily Prophet, that professor Albus Dumbledore is trying to get a license to run Hogwarts University of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Cambodia. 

While the news remains very vague for the time being, people are curious about the curriculum. Will the students learn how the fly ‘up’ in the air with broomstick so that they can avoid the city traffic jam and flood after heavy rainfall?  Some people wonder how their Muggle kids are eligible to enroll the Hogwarts University. But one thing for sure, the main concern is “The Phnom Penn Central Station will have to expand in order to have platform 9 ¾.”

/ October 6, 2016 / Comments Off on Pathmazing: Cambodia’s tech giant

Pathmazing: Cambodia’s tech giant

Had a tour at Cambodia’s tech giant Pathmazing.
and its academy this morning. A large, open space where 80+ young Cambodian coders take on global projects and for clients like eBay. Some new in-house products for local market are coming out in a couple of months. The future of Cambodian tech sector is here in the heart of Phnom Penh. Thanks Steven Path for the amazing one hour tour.
Kounila Keo and I will try to catch up with you for lunch soon and we might be the early users of the your Tes Jor app.

/ October 4, 2016 / Comments Off on BarCamp Phnom Penh: 7 years ago today

BarCamp Phnom Penh: 7 years ago today

The second of its series of Cambodia’s BarCamp
More photos here on my Google Photo album!

/ September 22, 2016 / Comments Off on 7 reasons Cambodians should spend more time on Facebook

7 reasons Cambodians should spend more time on Facebook

In Cambodia, Facebook is a new mainstream media. It’s for everyone.


A lot of VIPs, riches, and elites want to have their voices heard. They’re willing to pay Facebook the king of social networking site to put their messages on the top of your news stream. The good thing is spending money to run advertisement or sponsored content on Facebook is super easy. If they run a billboard advertisement here, they have to spend extra for placing the ad. Facebook is of course the best place to see a variety of sponsored images you’re not supposed to see on TV. From grassroots NGOs to big businesses to prominent public figures/politicians/Oknhas, you’ll never ever miss what they want you to know.


Facebook is more or less your Daily Prophet-like newspaper, which you can get and read news stories at your own peril. As in the J. K. Rowling’ Harry Potter books that the paper has its moving photographs, Facebook also offers you that feature.


The more time you’d spend on Facebook, the better for Facebook, the man behind it, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, whose ambition is to help you live longer to play Facebook. The Initiative has recently announced $3 billion investment to cure disease. More time of active users of the site means so much for Facebook to report to advertisers and shareholders.


There are approximately 300 million photos uploaded to Facebook day in day out. So if you don’t spend too much of your spare time on the platform, those Facebookers who share their pictures won’t be happy as they don’t get many Likes.  This might translate into the decline of world’s happiness.


There is no other place where you can see your friends come and go. They get so close to you when they need you. They like every status update your share, so that you feel they care about every second that’s happened to you. They also disappear whenever they wish to. So spend more time to Like and Love the status and photo updates from your Facebook friends (whether you’ve met in real world or not) to celebrate this whole new level of Facebook friendship.


As your Facebook friends desperately want to share with you what’s happening on their end, you need to take every chance (in or out of your 9-5 job hour) you can to watch their live video stream. The less number of live stream viewers, the more disappointed your friend feel. Thus, always be the first to be there.


To be able to serve you well, Facebook needs to know as much as possible about you. So spend more time on Facebook and keep sharing all the dots and details of your life.

7 more reasons as contributed by Prum Seila:


You don’t need to spend much money on electricity for watching Thai/Korean soap drama on TV.


You can respond to any news articles you don’t like by just reading only the news headlines, not clicking the link for full story.


You can keep up your relationship with friends, long relatives who you rarely meet in real world by just clicking like on their photo or comment: cute cute.


You can keep chatting between your friends or group who plan policy or solution to cope with issues.


You can store unlimited cute pictures of your baby endlessly without worrying of burning your hard drive or PC. You might get hundred of likes within hours.


Probably the only government on earth you can post your social concern or request for immediate intervention through Facebook Page of the government.


You got no other reason of using the internet beside checking Facebook by reviewing posts from friends who are active in sharing politics, exotic traveling, and telling the world that you exist.

This is a major update to what I wrote in 2014: 12 reasons why Facebook so popular in Cambodia.

/ September 5, 2016 / Comments Off on How to avoid PariPenh traffic jam: the wizarding way

How to avoid PariPenh traffic jam: the wizarding way

In PariPenh in 2074–Whether there’s any terrible traffic jam or blocked roads for any reason, you can fly with the broomstick, just like the Nimbus 2000 that Harry Potter uses to play the Quiddit game. It’s super reliable with good speed and exceptional handling. 

Here’s how:

1. I open a new store where people can buy broomsticks to fly. The product is super good for those who want to avoid traffic jam and commute to work from home faster than ever. One down side is you cannot glue your eyes to Facebook newsfeed much while flying with the broomstick. If you love taking photos, you longer need a drone or UAV anymore. The flying broomstick is an all-in-one gear for the Witches and Wizards.

2. I also offer you a service to obtain broomstick plate number quicker. No need to stand in a queue to pay for the plate number. You buy the flying broomstick from my store, you get discount for the plate number. 

3. I open a capacity building program to train the muggles to be able to use magic spells to fly with the broomstick, the Nimbus 2000.

/ August 27, 2016 / Comments Off on My interests based on Facebook’s algorithm

My interests based on Facebook’s algorithm










/ August 12, 2016 / Comments Off on An open letter to American people

An open letter to American people

Dear Americans,

Greeting from Cambodia!

President Barack Obama will leave his legacy to historians and many generations to write and judge. On November 8 this year you will have your voice heard. You will go to your poll station to elect your 45th president.


Democrats in Cambodia

In 2009, you wrote a new chapter in history by having the very first African American president of the United States of America. Against all odds. The world was watching. Cambodians were also watching. I was once at Foreign Correspondent Club (FCC) in Phnom Penh; people there were watching the Democrats having a live debate on television. That was the first US election I got to know. Since then, I started to follow US politics: Democrats vs Republicans.


A Democrats Abroad event at FCC in Phnom Penh

I’ve been to the US of A twice. Your country is amazing. The combined two trips lasted four weeks. I was fortunate enough to first land in Washington Dulles International Airport. So most of my first week was to get a sense of the Capitol Hill and smell the politics. I actually went to see the White House in person. San Francisco International Airport was where I departed twice. In between DC and the Silicon Valley, I visited New York City, Atlanta, and Sacramento. And I met so many nice American people. Once had dinner at their home. Even had a home stay in Los Altos.

I described these memorable trips because I believe and think the USA is a great country, full of great people. And I only hope that in November you will elect a great president, not he-who-must-not-be-named, not he who instills fear among people.

As American author Seth Godin wrote in his book, all marketers and politicians are not liars. They just want to tell you stories you want to hear. The message of fear seems to work well. The more you want to hear, the more stories you will get. I only hope you’ll be able to resist fear. People in my home country, Cambodia, have too much of that. We went through one of the darkest histories humans can ever bear. Even now we have too many stories of fear. Traumatized. Living in the past. Not moving forward.

Thank you very much indeed for the privilege to get to know your beautiful nation and citizens. My amazing trips are something I enjoy telling friends, family, and kids.

The world is watching. Cambodians are also watching. Are you listening?

A letter from Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tharum Bun, a Cambodian blogger

/ August 11, 2016 / Comments Off on When and how U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh marks its one million Facebook page likes

When and how U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh marks its one million Facebook page likes

This afternoon, I got an instant message from a friend. I got a last-minute invite to the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh as it celebrates its big social media day. The embassy’s Facebook Page reaches its milestone one million Likes. Like many countries around the world, Facebook is simply a modern media machine anyone can become publishers.

As a blogger friend nicely puts it: “The legend has it that old bloggers meet every four year there for cake…”

I happened to wear my blue BarCamp Bangkok 2014 t-shirt today. 😉

This is probably a million milligram cake to celebrate a million like U.S. Embassy Cambodia’s Facebook Page.

With my helicopter bloggers (read this by then US Ambassador William Todd): An Effective Military-to-Military Partnership): Cartoonist and lecturer Sovathary and Chetra Chap who spearheads Khmer Scholar. It’s a great to catch up and have some nice conversation about next generation of digital marketing using virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

From right to left: Chetra Chap, Kounila Keo, Sovathary Bon

Many more beautiful pictures from the US embassy:
US Embassy 1million Facebook fans celebration

Big thank to Yarat for the invite!

Kounila wrote about this celebration here: Coming back to the Kingdom when U.S. Embassy Facebook Page has 1 million fans strong

Here’s the official U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh Facebook Page: