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Rodin sketching a dancer from the Royal Ballet of Cambodia in 1906 in Paris. (Courtesy of the Rodin Museum)
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by Joe Fyfe

Cambodia’s quickly repopulating capital and royal seat, Phnom Penh, is like a beach town without a beach. The very wide Tonle Sap River and adjacent lakes and rice paddies infuse the city with a peculiar haze that is almost like sea air. Guesthouses, restaurants and internet cafes line the festive riverside promenade. Souvenir vendors, fruit sellers and three-wheeled taxi drivers compete with unwashed orphans for the stroller’s attention.