Hello fellow ASEAN citizens. Thank you for reading our blogs. You can feel free to participate with our activities. If you feel you want your article to be posted here or want to join our team, please send mail to:


The wrath of lightning

Lightning strikes kill 93 in Cambodia this year
PHNOM PENH (Xinhua): Lightning strikes have killed 93 people in Cambodia at the end of May this year, local media reported on Tuesday.

According to a report of the Cambodia Daily, Ly Thuch, second vice president of the National Committee for disaster Management, said the death toll so far has amounted to the total number of last year. He said the actual death toll of this year was likely higher than the official tally.

With nearly six months of rainy season still ahead, this year promises to be far more deadly for lightning strikes.

Last week alone, at least five people were struck dead throughout the country. Kem Gunawadh, director general of state broadcaster TVK (TV of Kampuchea), said his station had begun airing messages in the evening, warning the public not to shelter under trees and to avoid metal objects during inclement weather.

Note: Quoted from news.


The Ancient Capital of Chenla (Zhenla)

Every ancient kingdom has their own capital. Chenla, a kingdom which was once based in Cambodia in between 6th and 9th century, designated its capital in Sambor Prey Kuk, located in nowaday Kompong Thom province. This site is a collection of ancient temples, some are in bad conditions, which was once known as Isanapura, the capital of Isanavarman. There are 150 temples within this double-walled city, accumulate size to 1,000 acre[2]. They are divided into 3 main groups: the North, Central and South.

The North Group is called "Prasat Sambor" which is dedicated to Gambhireshvara, one of Shiva’s many incarnations (the other groups are dedicated to Shiva himself)[3].

The Central Group is called "Prasat Tor" (Lion Temple), as the name suggested, two lion stone sit at the entrance of the main door (which is actually, the only accessible door because other three are the delusive doors. You can find a B52 Bomb crater around that area (American dropped some bombs onto Cambodia during the Vietnam War and this one is bombed in the early 1970s)[4].

Prasat Tor (Lion Temple)

The South Group is called "Praset Yeuy Poun" is arguably the most atmospheric complex, as it feels lost in the forest. The eastern gateway is being both held up and torn asunder by an ancient tree, the bricks interwoven with the tree’s extensive, probing roots. A truly massive tree shades the western gate.

All of the temples are Hinduism, dedicated to Shiva. The temple is made of solid brick and late-rite stone with sculpture decorated whereas the artistic fronton and doorframe are made of sandstone[1]. In present days, these temple has become a cultural and historical tourism sites for Cambodia. The admission ticket to this serene site costs around 3$[3].

The trip to the temple can consume at least half a day. The road condition is good, if not so bad. The price of food, drink and souvenir are reasonable. The cost of bus to Kampong Thom could be around 3 to 5$. A 37-km ride from the provincial town should take you there. There are guides to be hired over there, but you can give chance to urban citizens there who can speak good English and has good knowledge about the temple.



Zooming in on Biodiversity

The 1st ASEAN-Wide Photo Contest on Biodiversity beings on May 22, 2009 and ends at 12:00nn ACT (ASEAN Common Time) of August 30, 2009.

The contest theme is "Zooming in on Biodiversity" and should capture various images related to biodiversity (plants, animals, marine life, ASEAN Heritage Parks) or the many benefits that biodiversity brings to human beings, its importance, the threats biodiversity face (deforestation, Climate change), or how biodiversity affects lives. Photos showing initiatives to protect biodiversity resources such as plants, animals, and marine species are also welcome.

Contest Categories

  • Professional Category - Professional photographers who derive income from the sale of photographs or provision of photographic services
  • Amateur Category - Amateur photographers
  • Student Category - High School and College/University students (must be 18 to 25 years old)

Contest Mechanics

  • Entries must be exclusive to this contest, unpublished, and must not have been submitted as entries in previous contests.
  • Each contestant can submit a maximum of three (3) photos.
  • Only color photos are qualified.
  • Contestants can enter photos taken using a digital or non-digital camera.
  • Entries must be submitted in JPEG format (as .jpg files) and should have a minimum resolution of six megapixles (6mb) or a screen resolution of 3000x2000 pixels.
  • Digitally altered images will be disqualified.
  • Traditional or standard photo enhancing must be limited to only photo resizing.
  • Each photo entry should have the following information:
    • Contestant's name
    • Nationality
    • The category in which you are entering the photo
    • Short caption (maximum of four sentences) for the photo that describes the image.
    • The place where the photo was taken
    • Date the photo was taken
    • Contestant's email address
    • Home address
    • Home, office, and/or mobile phone numbers
    • Age
    • Gender
    • If a student: name of school, address, and contact number must be indicated. Also include a certification from the head of the school that the contestant is a student of that school.
  • The title of the photo must contain the following:
    • Photographer's name
    • Image name (title)
    • Number of the photo entry (1 to 3) (e.g. charmlee_thegrasshopper1.jpg)
    • Method of submission. Methods of sending entries can be by post office (snail mail), courier services, or email (as attachment).
    • By email:
      • Submit the actual image file, not a link or other type of file.
      • Images should be sent as .jpg attachment to with "Photo Contest" in the subject line.
      • An email should contain one photo entry only.
      • If an image file is not readable and cannot be downloaded, the entry will be disqualified.
    • By mail, courier services:
      • Photos must be stored in a compact disc (CD).
      • Please address all entries to:
        The Public Affairs Unit

        ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity

        UPLB Forestry Campus

        College, Los BaƱos, Laguna 4031


Contest Criteria

  • Relevance to the theme - 40%
  • Composition - 20%
  • Creativity - 20%
  • Technical excellence - 20%


  • Professional Category
    • 1st Prize: $1,500 + travel, meals, and accommodation to attend the awarding ceremonies in Singapore
    • 2nd Prize: $1,000
    • 3rd Prize: $700
  • Amateur Category
    • 1st Prize: $1,000 + travel, meals, and accommodation to attend the awarding ceremonies in Singapore
    • 2nd Prize: $750
    • 3rd Prize: $500
  • Student Category
    • 1st Prize: $1,000 + travel, meals, and accommodation to attend the awarding ceremonies in Singapore
    • 2nd Prize: $750
    • 3rd Prize: $500


  • Travel documents, taxes, and other travel-related expenses shall be the responsibility of the winner.
  • Prizes are not transferable. Cash prizes can be claimed at the ACB Headquarters in the Philippines, or offices of ACB's National Contact Points in the ASEAN Member States within 60 days from receipt of notification. Winners must present valid identification.
  • Winners will be notified through phone, email, or registered mail by the Head of the Public Affairs Unit of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity.

Awarding Ceremony

For the first prize winners of the three categories, the awarding ceremony will be held in Singapore on October 21, 2009 as a side event of the ASEAN Conference on Biodiversity 2009 (ACB2009).

Other winners may attend the ceremony at their own expense.

For the second and third prize winners, who cannot attend the ceremony, the cash prizes and certificates will be presented by ACB's Governing Board Member and/or National Contact Point of the ASEAN Member State where the winner is a citizen.

Source: Zooming in on Biodiversity: The First ASEAN-Wide Photo Contest on Biodiversity