In a timely coincidence, Henry Alford’s recent travel article, “Banishing the Ghosts in Cambodia,” recently tantalized this reader with visions of a destination vacation in mind. Written for the travel-inspired readership of the New York Times, Alford’s version of Cambodia as a newly reborn hotspot for far flung Westerners approaches the point of lulling his decidedly non-Cambodian audience into pleasantly myopic vision of a plush Cambodian phoenix fully risen from its mired ashes. Amidst the outcropping of chic resorts and beautiful beaches reincarnated from the elegant, pre-Khmer Rouge moment of Cambodia’s forgotten past, Alford banishes the ghosts of Pol Pot’s genocidal legacy with pen in hand by appealingly casting a white, Western light on the glistening seaside resorts that lie just beyond the fringe of Cambodia’s inner darkness.

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