A Singaporean girl, a tuk-tuk driver from Cambodia and their unexpected friendship
When Sofia Goh made a friend on her trip, she began a journey she will never forget. The new series Across Asean explores these special bonds formed by ordinary individuals from the countries in this region.

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A Singaporean girl, a tuk-tuk driver from Cambodia and their unexpected friendship
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A Singaporean girl, a tuk-tuk driver from Cambodia and their unexpected friendship
When Sofia Goh made a friend on her trip, she began a journey she will never forget. The new series Across Asean explores these special bonds formed by ordinary individuals from the countries in this region.



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Sofia, a young Singaporean volunteering in Cambodia, invites Ban, a tuk-tuk driver to join her for a beer in the midst of a downpour. From there, an unlikely friendship forms, strengthened by a shared passion for photography.
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By Desmond Ng
08 Jul 2018 06:15AM
(Updated: 08 Jul 2018 08:17AM)
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SIEM REAP: Ban Mon Thong is a tuk-tuk driver plying the streets of Siem Reap to support his wife and children. Sofia Goh is single and working in Singapore as a procurement executive.

Despite their cultural and language differences, their friendship is strong: They WhatsApp and send photos to each other regularly, and she has even visited his family.

When she visits Cambodia now, she is more than just a tourist – she is a welcome friend. And it all started with a “pleasant coincidence”.

“There are a lot of tuk-tuk drivers in Siem Reap. It just so happened that he was there at that time, at that place,” said Ms Goh, 25.
That time when they first crossed paths was 2015, when she was teaching in Cambodia on a volunteer trip. And the place was a cafe, where she had noticed Mr Ban parked outside in the rain, getting wet.
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Almost on impulse, she invited him to join her and have a drink. “I guess a part of me wanted to connect even deeper with the people and the society that made up the country,” she said.
“Mr Ban was someone who definitely would’ve had a lot of stories.”
Thus did two strangers strike up a rather unique friendship, as featured on the programme Across Asean.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news...dship-10509064