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Tea Leaves

Graft is alive and well on Asia's 'badland' borders

Travel hassles along national boundaries drag on regional development

Crossing through the border gate of Voeung Kam, the only land border between Laos and Cambodia, can involve some unexpected costs. (Photo by Marco Ferrarese)

"End of the ride, please get off here."

I disembark at the side of a desolate Laotian road, joining a group of disoriented backpackers and European families fresh off their tourist minivans. The border gate of Voeung Kam, the only land border between Laos and Cambodia, stands meters from us.

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