Lakeside Kids

While on my usual pilgrimage to Boeung Kak district in Phnom Penh, I ran into these awesome kids who were very keen to have their photos taken.









The ‘ringleader’ was an older boy named Dara, who essentially took the above shots of his friends (which is to say that I held the camera and he looked through the viewfinder, aimed the camera as he wanted, he counted to three in Khmer, “mouy, pii, bey!”, and I hit the shutter release). Hence, the credits for these shots are his.

Dara’s English was excellent too, especially for a boy under ten years old. Even though I worked the camera for him, he composed the shots and knew when he wanted the capture. I was impressed with what came out.

Cambodia’s opposition party threatens more protests

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA – It’s been just over a week since Cambodians cast their vote in the national election, and a definitive result remains elusive.

Both the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) have claimed victory, and both parties have said that they welcome an investigation into allegations of irregularities at polling stations such as people not able to find their names on the electoral roll, or being told that they had already voted.

While the CPP says it is happy for an investigation to take place, it is refusing to go along with the CNRP’s insistence that the United Nations be a part of the investigative process.

Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng has said that involving the UN would be a violation of Cambodian law.

Meanwhile, the CNRP held a rally in Freedom Park in Phnom Penh on Tuesday to thank its supporters and let them know the party will continue to fight for change in Cambodia. Despite rumours of a police crackdown, several thousand people gathered to hear CNRP president Sam Rainsy and party deputy leader Kem Sokha speak. Police presence was very small, and the rally remained incident-free.


A Cambodian National Rescue Party supporter showing cards printed with the party’s logo and photograph of Kem Sokha and Sam Rainsy.


One of thousands of CNRP supporters in Freedom Park.


CNRP president Sam Rainsy addressing the crowd in Freedom Park.


CNRP deputy leader Kem Sokha takes to the microphone at the Freedom Park rally.


Part of the thousands-strong crowd gathered in Freedom Park.


CNRP MP Mu Sochua greeting the crowd towards the end of the rally.


A CNRP supporter in high spirits during the rally.


Memento Mori

In January 2013 a memorial stele honouring journalists and war correspondents who were killed during the Cambodian civil war was unveiled in the park in front of Hotel le Royal in Phnom Penh. The hotel was home to most of the foreign journalists covering the war which lasted from 1970 until 1975.

Thirty seven journalists from twelve different countries perished during the five years of civil war which preceded the rule of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.



Cambodia Votes

The below photos first appeared on New Matilda in the article ‘Cambodia Hits The Polls’. The article was also written by me.

Voters waiting to check their names on the electoral register in Phnom Penh.

Voters waiting to check their names on the electoral register in Phnom Penh.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy at a polling station in Phnom Penh.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy at a polling station in Phnom Penh.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy at a polling station in Phnom Penh.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy at a polling station in Phnom Penh.


An election official helping a voter to find her name on the register at the polling station in Wat Botum temple.


A moto-taxi driver outside the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh showing his ink-stained finger, showing that he has cast his vote.




Cambodian government and opposition rallies in Phnom Penh

Opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sohka of the Cambodian National Rescue Party arrived in Phnom Penh on Friday and held a rally in Freedom Park.


Meanwhile, supporters of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party were near Independence Monument, conducting a rally/street party of their own.


Lakeside Remnants

After having not been there for about 18 months, I decided to check out what’s left of the Boeung Kak district of Phnom Penh, the area formerly known as Lakeside.

Demolished StoreTeachers Greet Students At Makeshift SchoolAbandoned StoreLakeside ShackStreet 93Camry at LakesideLakeside FamilyVattanac TowerFormer Lake

In August of 2010 I wrote a piece about the development of Boeung Kak by Shukaku, Inc. While construction has not yet commenced, most of the businesses around the now filled-in lake have either closed down or moved, but there are a few holdouts against the decline of the neighbourhood. Grand View and Number 10 are two of the old guesthouses still operating (though the view is far from grand now), and the only actual bar still there is Lost And Found.

I spoke with a tuktuk driver who’d lived in the area for most of his life, and he was of the opinion that once the proposed highrise buildings went up, bulldozers would be run through the rest of that end of Street 93 to make way for an access road to the development.

But, as many people like to say, “This is Cambodia.” Anything could happen at any time, or nothing might happen for years.

It’s A Small World After All

Tiny Planets, an iOS app developed by Infoding, creates some very interesting photo effects…

Independence Monument / Phnom Penh, Cambodia

San Francisco City Hall

Angkor Wat / near Siem Reap, Cambodia

Huntington Beach, USA

Royal Palace / Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Golden Gate Bridge / San Francisco, USA