International Humane Missions

A People In Limbo, Many Living Entirely on the Water

A People In Limbo, Many Living Entirely on the Water


Chong Koh.Andrea Frazzetta/Institute, for The New York Times

Floating villages spread across the surface of the Mekong River’s waterways, playing
host to ethnic Vietnamese whose status in Cambodian society is perpetually adrift.

By BEN MAUK MARCH 28, 2018

This article was written with the support of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

The best handyman living among the boat people in Chong Koh was named Taing Hoarith. Most days, Hoarith woke up at 5 a.m. and bought a bowl of noodle soup from a passing sampan, the same genre of wandering bodega from which his wife, Vo Thi Vioh, sold vegetables houseboat to houseboat. When she left for the day, around 6, Hoarith rolled up their floor mat and got to work.

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