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Old December 27th, 2009, 05:30 PM   #1
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Phnom Penh, Cambodia (September 2009)

Since my previous thread about the Mekong Delta mostly went by unnoticed (because admittedly it wasn't very urban) I figured I give it a another try. This series is about Cambodia's electrifying capital, Phnom Penh. A city with many faces: the huge gap between the lush lifestyles of the haves versus the crippling poverty of the have-nots, the notion that the city is undergoing a huge leap forwards while at the same time so much still has to be done, the optimism and joie de vivre of the new generation versus the lingering memories of the harrowing past (it's a weird realisation that just about everyone my age has experienced the Khmer Rouge insanity personally). It's a city that makes you happy and sad at the same time, but above all, staying in Phnom Penh is an fascinating experience that I will never forget.

Street scenes

1. Phnom Penh skyline from the Cambodian-Japanese Friendship Bridge




5. Orussey Market at night

6. ... and during the day

7. The street were our hotel was located

8. Balcony view

9. Currently Phnom Penh's tallest (don't know about the name or height)



12. The beautiful Art Deco Phsar Thom Thmei (Central Market), built in 1937

13. Vimean Akareach, the independence monument in traditional Khmer style, from 1958

Wat Phnom



16. View

17. Inhabitant (1)

18. Inhabitant (2)

19. Inhabitant (3)

Outside the city center

20. 'Our' tuk-tuk driver




24. Boy begging for money

25. Little girl begging for water(!)

Tuol Sleng (S-21) Genocide Museum
Originally a technical school, the Khmer Rouge turned this compex into a vast detention and torture center. About 17.000 people were brought to here to be interrogated, just a handful survived. The rest was tortured to death or send to the killing fields on the edge of Phnom Penh.

26. Overview of the complex

27. Barb wire to prevent prisoners from committing suicide

28. Cell blocks made from brick ...

29. ... tiny


31. When locked up in their cells, prisoners were chained to the wall




35. Of each prisoner a picture was taken and a detailed biography was written (often used to incriminate relatives and friends - guilty by association)

36. The thought that each and every one of these people was killed leaves one speechless - what would have gone through their minds at that precise moment? One can only wonder...

37. What was a swing when the complex was still used as a school was turned into a (torture device (painting by Vann Nath, one of the few survivors of this prison)

38. House rules:
1. You must answer accordingly to my question. Donít turn them away.
2. Donít try to hide the facts by making pretexts this and that, you are strictly prohibited to contest me.
3. Donít be a fool for you are a chap who dare to thwart the revolution.
4. You must immediately answer my questions without wasting time to reflect.
5. Donít tell me either about your immoralities or the essence of the revolution.
6. While getting lashes or electrification you must not cry at all.
7. Do nothing, sit still and wait for my orders. If there is no order, keep quiet. When I ask you to do something, you must do it right away without protesting.
8. Donít make pretext about Kampuchea Krom in order to hide your jaw of traitor.
9. If you donít follow all the above rules, you shall get many many lashes of electric wire.
10. If you disobey any point of my regulations you shall get either ten lashes or five shocks of electric discharge.

Choeung Ek Genocide Center
Choeung Ek was the killing ground where prisoners from Tuol Sleng that had served their 'purpose' were brought to be executed. In all, more than 15.000 people were killed here: a stunning number, but this place was just one of many hundreds of killing fields and execution sites that dotted the country

39. Memorial stupa ...

40. ... containing the remains of the almost 9000 victims that were exhumed (the other mass graves remain untouched up to this day)

41. Victims clothes

42. Skulls, sorted by age and gender


44. Each pit is an emptied mass grave

45. Mass grave that contained remains of about 150 women and children. Children were smashed to death against the tree on the left, adult victims usually had their heads smashed in (bullets were considered too valuable to waste on these victims)

46. A dog having a stroll in a grave that once contained 160 headless bodies

47. Mass graves and monument

A gloomy end of this series, but in my opinion one can't tell about Phnom Penh without paying attention/respect to what the Cambodians had gone through barely 35 years ago.
But that doesn't mean Phnom Penh and Cambodia haven't been an amazing experience: on the contrary! The people, the culture, the nature, the cuisine: all these things made sure that visiting Cambodia was an unforgettable experience that has left a lasting impression!
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Old December 28th, 2009, 01:17 AM   #2
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Thanks Judazzz, great and impressive pictures!

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Old December 28th, 2009, 06:36 AM   #3
is back in the Maldives
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^ Wonderful photos!
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Old December 28th, 2009, 06:52 PM   #4
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Interesting and very nice photos from that town in Cambodia
Urban Showcase: Athens Kalamata Trikala Thessaloniki
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General photography: Castles of France - Chateau de France and, since May of '08: Greece!
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Old December 29th, 2009, 02:18 AM   #5
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Looks like a poor country, very different from Europe, but beautiful.
A like means a lot! But one word says more then a thousand likes.

Website about my travels and buildings in USA and Europe -many cool pics:

All my diagram drawings - more than 700!:
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Old December 29th, 2009, 02:44 AM   #6
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Very interesting pictures!
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Old January 4th, 2010, 11:57 PM   #7
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Thanks peeps

Originally Posted by Nightsky View Post
Looks like a poor country
Yeah, it's a poor country indeed (one of the poorest in Asia, if I'm not mistaken), but it's the huge gap between rich and poor that struck me the most. Poverty is always bad, but seeing the vast contrast between the rich that openly flaunt their wealth in the face of such poverty (people in gigantic Mercedes or Lexus limousines driving by people that have to make it on less than a dollar a day, luxury gated communities built right next to slums) makes it so much harder to fathom.
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Old January 5th, 2010, 12:14 AM   #8
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Wow, great! Thank you for sharing. Phnom Penh is such a rarely shown destination here. I appreciated it a lot!
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Old March 4th, 2010, 11:05 AM   #9
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It's really nice to see these pics from Phnom Penh.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 10:16 PM   #10
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Great pics mate..Cambodia is poor but beautiful!! Have you been to the temples of Anghkor too??

I'm planning to spend some days there at the end of year in a backpacking around SE Asia. Despite of all this poverty I've noticed that it's a very safe country, thats true?

See Ya.
Eu fui eu fui eu fui eu fui ... pro outro lado de lŠ.
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