In 2008, I flew to Bangkok and then took a mini van to Pattaya. It’s the first Mekong ICT Camp that took place in Thailand. The week-long workshop was inspired by Asia Source. 

The series of this Mekong ICT Camp continues the following years, 2010, 2013, 2015, and 2017. Only the latest one, 2017, that it’s organized outside of Thailand. I fortunately attended all those events. I started as a participant. Later on I took part as a facilitator, board member, and organizer. 

In 2008, upon the return from the first Mekong ICT Camp, I managed to work with a few Cambodian participants to initiate and start the first BarCamp in Phnom Penh. The BarCamp Phnom Penh is now everything for everyone across Cambodia. It’s amazing to look back and see how a idea and inspiration can aspire me to start doing things that now involve or impact thousands. I didn’t really imagine that. I just wanted to do something I’ve learned and feel that I pay back. 

After these five Mekong Mekong ICT Camp, I think the mission is accomplished. This latest camp took place in Siem Reap. It’s an attempt. I retire from this, although knowing that it means a lot to me.

Now I I have to think about the next thing after nearly a decade. The built network among people in the region and lasting friendship are the best things to have and to nurture.

Chea Langda, BookMeBus CEO
Chea Langda, a doer and fearless founder

Chea Langda is a startup co-founder of BookMeBus. The young Cambodian left his 8-5 job to launch a website that lists bus trip information. It came out of his frustration when finding a bus seat to his hometown, Battambang province, from Phnom Penh. The BookMeBus now is one of the most popular websites among expats, foreign travelers, and local to book their bus tickets with a just a few clicks or swipes.

The first few days at The Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park for IFC Asia 2017.
June 25 – July 1, 2017

Bangkok from the above

Skytrain is the fastest way to get around Bangkok

A Digital strategy for crowdfunding masterclass where Professor Beth Kanter and I were co-teachers on the very first day of IFC Asia 2017.

Fantastic food in Goji Kitchen & Bar of the Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park

Inside the giant Goji Kitchen & Bar

The last several days in Bangkok

A soft shopping in the IKEA Bangna in Bangkok

IKEA’s newest SLADDA Bicycle

This is an email interview I gave to The Cambodia Daily’s journalist Hang Sokunthea today

Date: 22 June 2017 at 12:09

I am writing a story today about the Beta test that Uber has launched last week and wondering if you could comment on the story?

A tech blogger has written a story as a review: http://wheninphnompenh.com/uber-launch-cambodia/

Do you know about this? What do you think is the significant of Uber coming to join the current market in Cambodia? We have Exnet for metered taxi, PassApp for both taxi and Tuk Tuk, and a few like GoTukTuk for only Tuk Tuk ride. Isn’t that already enough to serve the 1.5 million population city?

My full response
Uber is a unicorn disrupter (valued at $1 billion or more). So it’s not surprising that the Silicon Valley startup has to prove that it takes the world, including the Cambodian and other Asian markets, with its ride-hailing application.

Taking the recent Uber’s global leadership aside, I think this arrival will transform the Cambodian transportation sector positively.

I don’t really think the city has enough transportation service providers just yet. Let’s welcome other players like Lyft and GrabTaxi to come and compete here for the best offerings and services for the growing population of the city.

The presence of Uber in Phnom Penh will gradually change Phnom Penhers’ perception of access to private transportation. Most of the middle-class Cambodians prefer to own their vehicles. Some expats may rent a car. The convenience of ordering a ride with reasonable price (without being ripped off) offers an ideal choice.

The presence of Uber also proves that Cambodia has it all it takes for global businesses to launch and operate. Super fast Internet? Yes. The majority of the young population who embraces digital technology? Yes.

Read more:
The Cambodia Daily: Ride-Services Giant Uber Launches (Softly) on Phnom Penh Streets
Cambopedia: Taxi services in Phnom Penh
WhenInPhnomPenh: Uber finally launched their beta in Cambodia and here’s how you can ride for FREE