Even in capital, pipes don’t deliver cooking gas

5 Aug - 1 (7)

No pipeline?  Cambodians have you covered.  They are the delivery system.

Phnom Penh is not fully developed, though a plenitude of high buildings new or under construction creates a different impression.

5 Aug - 3 (3)To get an idea of the reality, you need look no farther than the kitchens of restaurants and newly completed luxe kitchens in residences with virtually all the amenities found in the West. What you see in them is propane tanks hidden under the counters of those fancy household kitchens or out of the way in restaurants.  In less glam accommodations, especially in Khmer homes, small canisters of gas attach to portable units that provide one or two gas burners..

Many Cambodians purchase canisters that have been used many times for such cooking sources.  Despite the mostly theoretical dangers of such a practice, their use is widespread, and I don’t have an impression that dependence on them is decreasing.

5 Aug - 1

Typical setup in lower middle-class home, though propane source is a small tank under the counter as in the photo below.  Imagine in most homes, to which I lack access, a small battered canister next to the unit.  It would be similar to the shape and size of a bottle of water you might carry on a warm day.

It hardly is surprising that this impoverished country rife with corruption should not have invested in underground pipelines for gas.  Nor are electrical and other cables buried.

To my mind, the absence of an adequate infrastructure for those utilities contributes to restraints on growth (in addition to funds bled by corrupt individuals).  Other factors include inadequate drainage where monsoons are frequent and pipes that cannot deliver absolutely safe drinking water.

5 Aug - 1

Modern appliances (including kettle), yes, but gas is available only in cylinders.

Examples abound, and I certainly am not alone in mentioning them.  Unfortunately, constant criticism of inadequacies has done no good over the years and there is no reason to expect things to change any time soon.  It is a pity, no?

Email: malcolmncarter@gmail.com

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