They look like regular traffic control signs, and certainly there are plenty of them
- we counted more than 20 in a four kilometre stretch of road near Kep, a town on Cambodia’s coast.
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But they don’t warn you about road conditions or give you directions to the next village...
Instead they just tell you that the Cambodian People’s Party is big here. Or they want to be. Or they want you to know that the road has been built because of the efforts of the CPP.
It’s rather like seeing hard, metal, permanent, municipally-ordained signs for the Labour Party or the Republican Party, every 200 metres alongside a highway in Britain or the ‘States. But outside election time. This is the norm - this is not electioneering.
It could be six lanes wide - connecting two towns of a population not greater than three thousand people, with great sweeping roundabouts too. But the tarmac mostly only covers a thin strip in the middle.
A tuk-tuk driver has to decide whether to challenge the vast lorries for use of that bit, or to bump up and down over the potholes along the edges.
It would be rude, and no doubt wrong, to think of this road as a bribe to local voters, or an example of political graft. And perhaps it’ll be useful in years to come, especially when the 50,000-place hotel and casino for Chinese tourists opens up - sometime… As long as they don’t need to travel very far.
There are signs for other parties too - notably the Cambodia National Rescue Party - but far fewer.
Money that can apparently be spent on an awful lot of roadside adverts for political parties, and not on something more useful… Perhaps warning signs?
After all, the death rate on Cambodia’s roads has doubled in the last decade.