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.

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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 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.

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

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

 

 

 

Relaxing By the Mekong (again)

As I said when I went on my first walk around Kampong Cham yesterday, “Another day, another new favourite Cambodian town.”

Kampong Cham is Cambodia’s third-largest town and lies beside the Mekong River.

The town still manages to maintain a certain rural charm.

Many of the French Colonial buildings seem to have been kept with some integrity, lacking the more modern adornments (eg. huge billboards) that seem to be bolted on in other towns. Although some of the buildings could do with some attention.

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.