Archives: July 2010
As the title suggests, this is a photo taken at sunset overlooking the Mekong River in Cambodia. The river provides many people with a living from fishing. Being the 7th largest river in Asia and the 12th largest in the world, it runs through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
The fishing boat here is capture in the reflection of the sun’s rays on the water as it sets.
Yesterday I traveled to a village in Kampong Cham, Cambodia. Stayed in a village called Lveate with a lovely family and had a relaxing time including swimming in the Mekong, visiting the local school / monks and eating delicious food. Here are a few favourite photos from the trip.
Residing in Phnom Penh, Cambodia is the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. This museum is located on a former high school which the Khmer Rouge transformed into “Security Prison 21″ (S-21) from 1975 to 1979. Tuol Sleng means “Hill of the Poisonous Trees” or “Strychnine Hill”.
It’s estimated that 17,000 people were imprisoned at Tuol Sleng and at any one time, the prison held between 1,000-1,500 prisoners. Of the 17,000 people imprisoned at Toul Sleng, there were only twelve known survivors. It was a place of imprisonment, torture and death.
Today it’s a museum with prison cells, barbed wire, bars and chains. The buildings have been left as they were when the Khmer Rouge fled and some prison cells contain photographs depicting dead prisoners, showing the room as it was found.
There are rooms with hundreds of photographs of the faces of prisoners. It is all quite somber and depressing. Other rooms contain exhibitions, stories and photographs about genocide, the prison guards and the survivors. It is a quiet place as each person wanders from cell to cell and looks into the terrified faces of the men, women and children who died at S21.
Whilst it is a place that is hard to visit, I recommend that you go if you get the chance. The museum provides some insight into the atrocities and horrors that the Cambodian people experienced only 40 years ago at the hands of the Khmer Rouge.
More images can be view in our Landscape and Travel Portfolio.
For more information, visit wikipedia: Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.
Just for fun…
This is basically part 2 of the previous post titled “Phnom Penh National Olympic Stadium“. I mentioned how it’s quite popular for Cambodians to do aerobics in the mornings (5am – 7am) and evenings (5pm – 8pm) so here are two photos of the energetic Cambodians at the stadium taken at sunrise. Sorry for waking you up early Kelly !
The main stadium in Phnom Penh, it has a seating capacity of 50,000 and built in 1964. During the reign of the Khmer Rouge, the stadium was used as a site for executions by officials under the administration of Lon Nol.
These days, the stadium and surrounding grounds are a popular place for morning and afternoon aerobics, lead by instructors. The parking lots provide room for hundreds of young khmers to have chaotic bare-foot soccer matches. Other facilities include an Olympic sized swimming pool and indoor volleyball court, another popular sport in Cambodia.
Here is a pretty interesting anecdote about the Phnom Penh National Olympic Stadium, involving Australia:
The stadium played a small part in the 1966 FIFA World Cup. Unexpectedly, North Korea faced Australia in a qualifier. Because North Korea lacked diplomatic relations with most countries, finding a suitable venue for the match proved difficult, until Head of State Norodom Sihanouk, an ally of Kim Il-sung, said the matches could be held in Phnom Penh. The matches attracted 40,000 fans, with Sihounouk decreeing half would cheer for Australia, while the other half cheered the Koreans. The matches were held on 21 November 1965 and on 24 November 1965 with North Korea winning both (6–1 and 3–1). Because South Korea and all African teams had withdrawn in protests against FIFA, North Korea were thus directly qualified to the final tournament, where they reached the quarter-final. – Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phnom_Penh_National_Olympic_Stadium
Below is an image of a single person sitting on the stadium seats:
So the rainy season has been a bit late this year, but last Friday Phnom Penh experienced several hours of heavy rain which caused many parts of the city to be flooded. In some spots, the depth of the water on the roads was between 30cm and 60cm.
The rainy season in Cambodia is generally from May to October and they remainder of the year is the dry season. Generally the rain hits between 2pm and 3pm and lasts for an hour or so but it can rain for up to a week at a time.
The rains flood the streets of Phnom Penh mainly due to the drainage system in Phnom Penh not being able to cope with such large amounts of water. Although in recent years, there has been much speculation that the filling in of Beoung Kak Lake with sand to make way for new developments, has added to the cause of flooding as the water has no where to drain. (see article in Phnom Penh Post)
Travelling out in the provinces can be a bit of a struggle during the rainy season as dirt roads are often flooded and inaccessible but the main highways should not be a problem. It can be a great time to see Cambodia is it is the low season for tourists and the rains create a lush, green and beautiful countryside.
Some tips for when it’s raining and the streets flood.
- Wear sandals – generally its too hot to wear closed shoes so you would be wearing sandals / flip flops anyway, but it if you’re going to be walking in the water, they will dry out quickly.
- 50 cent ponchos – these bright coloured plastic ponchos are a cheap and relatively effective way to stay dry. They can be found at street stalls and markets.
- If you’re living in Phnom Penh for a medium to long term, find out if your street floods and if the water recedes quickly. If you are in an area prone to flooding, it would be best if you live on the first floor or higher rather than the ground floor.
- Be patience and wait indoors. Often there is a bit of warning before it rains, so if you are going out, plan to bring an umbrella, poncho for traveling and when it does rain, enjoy the many restaurants and cafes Phnom Penh has to offer.
Here are a couple of photo’s from the other day near the Royal Palace and Street 178.
I was riding home from work this week and saw a beautiful rainbow in the sky …