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Old July 26th, 2011, 11:24 PM   #1
Judazzz
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Phnom Penh 2011 (updated August 3rd)

Earlier this year I've been to the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh to work as a volunteer teacher for a NGO-operated Montessori Daycare Center/Primary School for two months. An amazing experience, that I hope to be able to repeat it again in the not too distant future. These are some of the pictures I snapped during those two months.


image hosted on flickr

1. National Museum

image hosted on flickr

2. Sunday-afternoon at the Sisowath Quay river front

image hosted on flickr

3. Viuew from the roof terrace of the famous Phnom Penh Foreign Correspondents Club on Sisowath Quay

image hosted on flickr

4. Another view from the FCC, towards the Tonle Sap River

image hosted on flickr

5. Nur ul-Ihsan Moskee on the shores of Boeng Kak Lake, an area inhabited primarily by the Cham, an Islamic minority

[img]http://i56.************/23vf2h.jpg[/img]
6. Boeng Kak neighborhood, a popular backpackers ghetto

image hosted on flickr

7. Graffiti in Boeng Kak

image hosted on flickr

8. Wat Broyouvong temple

image hosted on flickr

9. French-colonial architecture

image hosted on flickr

10. Sihanouk Boulevard with the Independence Monument and Tower 42 under construction

[img]http://i54.************/zv1ymp.jpg[/img]
11. Psar Thmei (Central Market), art deco at its finest

image hosted on flickr

12. Psar Thmei

image hosted on flickr

13. The central dome of Psar Thmei

image hosted on flickr

13. Dried shrimp shop at Psar Orussei (the wholesale market)

[img]http://i51.************/2vtv2c1.jpg[/img]
14. Street scene around Psar Orussei

[img]http://i52.************/2la63d1.jpg[/img]
15. Street scene around Psar Orussei

image hosted on flickr

16. Evening stores on Sihanouk Boulevard

[img]http://i52.************/awaioo.jpg[/img]
17. Monivong Boulevard, one of the main traffic arteries of the city

[img]http://i54.************/30li2gw.jpg[/img]
18. Wat Phnom, according to legend the hill (in Khmer 'phnom') on which the city was founded by Lady Penh

[img]http://i55.************/2mynfrb.jpg[/img]
19. Wat Phnom

image hosted on flickr

20. Playing(?) macaques at Wat Phnom

image hosted on flickr

21. Monks on the bank of the Tonle Sap River

[img]http://i51.************/2usczz7.jpg[/img]
22. The White Building, a middle class housing project that was halted after the capture of the city by the Khmer Rouge in April 1975. Nowadays it is filled with brothels, sweat shops and inhabited by hundreds of desperately poor families

[img]http://i55.************/2ma8ld.jpg[/img]
23. White Building

image hosted on flickr

24. Playing children in the White Building

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25. Young entrepreneur

[img]http://i55.************/11t09xx.jpg[/img]
26. A football match in the Olympic Stadium

[img]http://i51.************/2qntdn8.jpg[/img]
27. Section of the growing Phnom Penh skyline


Hope you enjoyed it!

Last edited by Judazzz; August 3rd, 2011 at 10:05 PM.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 12:07 AM   #2
El_Greco
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Fantastic pictures! Hows the situation with crime there? Ive read some scary stories...

Will there be more?
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Old July 27th, 2011, 01:09 AM   #3
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Thanks!
I must say I felt very secure in Phnom Penh, even when walking around at night. In general, the Khmer are amazingly friendly, hardworking, helpful, honest and fun loving people (memorize just a few basic words in Khmer, and they'll treat you like a star!), so in my experience you need to try pretty hard to make enemies there.
Of course there are places foreigners shouldn't be, and you'll have to observe the usual do's and don'ts when travelling to exotic places, but as long as you keep and eye open and use common sense, Phnom Penh is no more or less dangerous than any other big city.

I'm pretty busy, but I'll try to post some more pictures of Kep-sur-Mer, Oudong, Battambang and Singapore (where I had an 8 hour stop-over on my return flight) soon.
For starters, here are a few more pictures I took at the school where I worked:

image hosted on flickr

28. Swimming pool of the You Khin House. The profits of this guesthouse are invested into the school nextdoor, and the visitors share the pool with the students, who get swimming lessons there twice a week.

image hosted on flickr

29. Two of my pupils during drama class

image hosted on flickr

30. A girl from the nursery

image hosted on flickr

31. Swimming lesson

[img]http://i56.************/10znzm0.jpg[/img]
32. Class of 2011

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33. Maori project at school
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Old July 27th, 2011, 03:30 AM   #4
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Seems like you had fun time, I wouldnt mind doing some volunteer work in SE Asia myself either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judazzz View Post
I'll try to post some more pictures of Kep-sur-Mer, Oudong, Battambang and Singapore
Please do!
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Last edited by El_Greco; July 31st, 2011 at 03:19 AM.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 06:05 AM   #5
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this is one nice photo collection of a southeast asian city.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 12:21 PM   #6
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Nice pics....thanks for sharing..
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Old July 31st, 2011, 03:20 AM   #7
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Thanks for this interesting thread, Judazzz. Having been quite a few times to SE Asia I am looking at Phnom Penh as one of the most potential destinations over the next couple of years. This country and its capital are so underrepresented over SSC (and in general). Hence your photos are really valuable. Waiting for more!
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Old July 31st, 2011, 12:59 PM   #8
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Beautiful pictures. Looks quite cozy there!
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Old July 31st, 2011, 01:19 PM   #9
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Phnom Penh is such a great place to visit. Try it, you will want more!
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Old July 31st, 2011, 04:03 PM   #10
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Cambodia is the only country next to Thailand that I have never been.
Phnom Pehn once was referred to be the pearl of SEA.
I would to visit someday.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 06:04 PM   #11
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Thank you all for your comments, guys!


Quote:
Originally Posted by bansatorn View Post
Cambodia is the only country next to Thailand that I have never been.
Phnom Pehn once was referred to be the pearl of SEA.
I would to visit someday.
Cities like Bangkok, Singapore and Saigon all have their charm and unique selling points, but what sets Phnom Penh apart in my opinion is that it still has a unique feel of authenticism. Of course it is busy, hectic and crowded (like any SEA city), but it feels like a national capital which managed to retain it's colonial look and feel blended with a pleasant small-scale coziness.

But for how much longer remains to be seen, as the city is developing very fast, and always as subtle as it should be. So now is a great time to visit this place, as it remains to be seen how much will be left in 10 years - will it still bear the legacy of the Pearl of the Orient, or will it transform in just another Asian city, impressive and fast-paced, but at the same time somewhat anonymous and soulless?


Anyways, here's some more pictures, this time from Kep-sur-Mer and Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island).
Kep-sur-Mer used to be a small, mundane beach resort, the playground for rich French and the Khmer elite, also known as the Cambodian Rivièra. The capture by the Khmer Rouge caused a lot of destruction and an end to all tourist activities for decades.
Slowly but steadily however, tourists and Khmer alike are starting to rediscover this charming little place. Not in the least because of its local delicacy (fresh crab in Kampot-Pepper sauce) and the nearby island of Koh Tonsay, a primitive but idyllic bounty island and an excellent place to retreat from the hustle and bustle of Phnom Penh.

image hosted on flickr

34. Taken somewhere between Phnom Penh and Kep. The road is one of the National Highways...

[img]http://i52.************/3097z11.jpg[/img]
35. Landscape. Picture taken mid-January, the peak of the dry season is in April...

image hosted on flickr

36. Kep-sur-Mer

[img]http://i56.************/2dagmsk.jpg[/img]
37. Rivièra in the making?

[img]http://i55.************/xnc701.jpg[/img]
38. As fresh as it gets

image hosted on flickr

39. Koh Tonsay. Not a bad place to spend a night!

[img]http://i52.************/2hnotif.jpg[/img]
40. View from my hammock

image hosted on flickr

41. Sunset

image hosted on flickr

42. Sunset

[img]http://i52.************/2aaisnc.jpg[/img]
43. Rise and shine, Cambodia!


More to come soon, so stay tuned!
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Old July 31st, 2011, 07:09 PM   #12
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^ nice beach.
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Old August 1st, 2011, 05:52 AM   #13
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I have been there too, it's peaceful and nice!
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Old August 1st, 2011, 12:26 PM   #14
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Interesting and very nice photos from Phnom Penh
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Old August 1st, 2011, 03:01 PM   #15
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simply beautiful ~~~
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That was happiness then.

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Old August 3rd, 2011, 10:03 PM   #16
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Thank you all!

Time to go a bit more rural (more urban pictures will follow later).
First:

OUDONG
During my stay at the school in Phnom Penh, it was decided to go on a field trip to Oudong, a small town built around Phnom Oudong hill in Kandal province, about 40 clicks outside of Phnom Penh. An unremarkable place, similar to so many small places in rural Cambodia, were it not that it used to be the Khmer royal residency between 1618 en 1866. Most impressive are the tombs (stupa's) of former kings built on top of Phnom Oudong.

[img]http://i54.************/zx4gig.jpg[/img]
44. Looking up to Phnom Oudong

[img]http://i51.************/dcwp5w.jpg[/img]
45. Oudong, seen from above

[img]http://i53.************/qoj6v8.jpg[/img]
46. Oudong's temple

[img]http://i51.************/nr0rdl.jpg[/img]
47. View over Kandal province. At the foot of the hill lies one of the many Killing Fields from the Khmer Rouge era, last resting place for thousands.

[img]http://i56.************/28l44rm.jpg[/img]
48. One of the royal tombs

[img]http://i51.************/mktysz.jpg[/img]
49. Detail

[img]http://i54.************/vy2koj.jpg[/img]
50. More tombs

[img]http://i54.************/2u88e47.jpg[/img]
51. Detail

[img]http://i53.************/2ik2o1d.jpg[/img]
52. Role reversal

[img]http://i55.************/2hxwx78.jpg[/img]
53. A polished granite(?) floor, an excellent playground!


BATTAMBANG
During the midterm holiday, I had the opportunity to leave Phnom Penh for a while to see a bit more of Cambodia. Lots of things to choose from, but eventually I decided to go Battambang in the west, near the Thai border. It's the capital of Battambang province, and with 250.000 inhabitants Cambodia's second city. The city is rich in French-colonial heritage, but equally interesting is the surrounding lush country side. So I hired a moto driver for a day, and he showed me the best places around Battambang.

[img]http://i55.************/2i70mr7.jpg[/img]
55. First destination was the famous Bamboo Train (called 'Norrie' by the locals), basically a bamboo platform with two train axles and a small engine. An ideal solution for the local population to transport food and goods from A to B

[img]http://i53.************/2qi8wif.jpg[/img]
56. The track itself has seen better times (and will probably be upgraded in the near future, p[ossibly meaning the end for the bamboo train)

[img]http://i54.************/jk9bmf.jpg[/img]
57. Rice fields the way they look during the dry season

[img]http://i53.************/2qkkowm.jpg[/img]
58. The ride went to the small hamlet of O Sra Lav, a collection of farms and drink stalls, and back

image hosted on flickr

59. One of the village girls

image hosted on flickr

60. Making bracelets from sugar cane leafs

image hosted on flickr

61...

image hosted on flickr

62. Time to move on

image hosted on flickr

63. When two bamboo trains meet, the one with the lightest load is disassembled

image hosted on flickr

64. Fellow passengers and the 'train operator'

image hosted on flickr

65. And we continue on moto, crisscrossing the beautiful country side on our way to the next destination, the Angkorian temple of Wat Phnom Banan


Next time: more Battambang province and Battambang city
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Old August 4th, 2011, 07:20 PM   #17
El_Greco
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What camera do you have?
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Old August 5th, 2011, 12:43 AM   #18
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Most were made with my trusty old Canon EOS 350D (Rebel XT) in combination with a Tamron 18-270 lens, a few with a Panasonic TZ-10.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 01:32 AM   #19
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nice shots.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 02:08 AM   #20
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Wow, how brilliant! I almost feel I'm there. Gotta go to Cambodia some time. Maybe even next year!
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