Photo Gallery: Phnom Penh City Mall

These pictures, taken in the same trip that I took all the Olympic Stadium pictures, show another side to Cambodia development and consumerism. The mall is quite nice, actually, but in a throw-back to Dante, each level of ascension feels like another circle of hell. By the top floor, visitors are faced with Cambodia’s well-known Legend Cinemas, a strange food court, bumper cars, and a absurd grouping of DVD vendors. I look forward to going back to this place, as I certainly did not take enough pictures to accurately give a good sense of it through this gallery.

P1080207

P1080217

P1080216

P1080215

P1080214

P1080213

P1080212

P1080211

P1080210

P1080209

P1080208

Photos: Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium

I realize I haven’t been as active on this blog as I had when I first moved to Cambodia, and I blame that on being really, really busy. Not only has the internship been significantly time-consuming, but extra special activities related to Open Acess, poetry, and travel have kept me on my toes every day. I also have been dealing with more and more homework, and various forms of sickness. I’m glad it’s been rocky, as consistency in my life leads to boredom in my life, as it does for many others. But that being said, I owe a gallery of some pictures from a recent visit to the Olympic Stadium here in Phnom Penh. I should make a note that while the pictures here make the stadium look completely abandoned and absurdly creepy, me and my friend Phil (in the pictures) visited during the “off-hour.” Essentially the cooler parts of the day (the early morning and the late afternoon/early evening) paint a different picture: swarms of Cambodians visit the park to do aerobic exercises, use the facilities, and play soccer (I mean “football”).

Still, I’m glad we visited when we did, as it allowed for some pretty amazing structural shots. It’s clear that the building, despite the many who use it, and despite its history (it was one of the killing centers for the Khmer Rouge), is slowly crumbling, disinvested. Next door (you’ll see in another post) there is the fancy-though-somewhat-decayed City Mall. And some major foreign investor is pouring their riches into a huge resort structure just to the north. The Olympic Stadium will most likely be torn down and replaced . . . by another stadium? Who knows. Chances are: no. Having traveled throughout the city, it’s clear that public facilities are most certainly not a priority by the government and urban developers. That may change. But without a large economy, and no coffers in the bank available to be spent on renovation projects or public spaces, I foresee the stadium’s death spot being filled in with concrete, a shiny apartment building or hotel or office complex thrown above.

P1080136

P1080206

P1080205

P1080204

P1080203

P1080202

P1080201

P1080200

P1080199

P1080198

P1080197

P1080196

P1080195

P1080194

P1080193

P1080192

P1080191

P1080189

P1080188

P1080187

P1080186

P1080185

P1080184

P1080183

P1080182

P1080181

P1080180

P1080179

P1080178

P1080177

P1080176

P1080175

P1080174

P1080172

P1080170

P1080169

P1080168

P1080167

P1080166

P1080165

P1080164

P1080163

P1080162

P1080161

P1080160

P1080159

P1080158

P1080157

P1080156

P1080155

P1080154

P1080153

P1080152

P1080151

P1080150

P1080149

P1080148

P1080147

P1080146

P1080145

P1080144

P1080143

P1080142

P1080141

P1080140

P1080139

P1080137

Photo Gallery: Koh Pich, Revisited

This morning, after a short stop at the hideous casino Naga World, I went with a filmographer and overall productive workhouse dude Chris Rogy to Koh Pich (Diamond Island). I had vowed I didn’t want to go back there after my first three visits in September, but part of me drew me to the idea of seeing yet another perspective on the place. It was early enough (around 7:30) to not be completely distracted by folks working on the island. We did a general tour of the place and stopped around four times so Chris could shoot. We only were told to stop filming once. I was taking as many photos as ever (below, as usual), but also was able to get some nice short videos and plenty of audio files. Audio is easy: the recorder just looks like a cell phone. For visual work, though, there’s the risk of not having permission where permission is needed. All in all, it was a hot experience, but one that brought forth plenty of great images.

P1070758

P1070757

P1070754

P1070851

P1070848

P1070847

P1070846

P1070845

P1070844

P1070841

P1070839

P1070838

P1070837

P1070836

P1070833

P1070832

P1070831

P1070830

P1070829

P1070827

P1070825

P1070824

P1070823

P1070822

P1070820

P1070818

P1070817

P1070816

P1070815

P1070813

P1070811

P1070810

P1070809

P1070807

P1070805

P1070804

P1070800

P1070797

P1070796

P1070795

P1070794

P1070791

P1070789

P1070788

P1070787

P1070786

P1070781

P1070780

P1070779

P1070778

P1070777

P1070776

P1070775

P1070774

P1070773

P1070772

P1070771

P1070770

P1070769

P1070768

P1070767

P1070766

P1070765

P1070764

P1070763

P1070761

Photo Gallery: Sihanouk Dead! One Year Later, a Day Trip to Koah Anlong Chen

It’s been a year since the famous king died in Cambodia, and on this day, everyone takes time off of work to reflect, relax, and, well, adventure. Boramy and I visited Koah Anlong Chen, an island south of Phnom Penh by about 20k. It was probably one of the most jam-packed adventures I’d had up to this point. So many serendipitous occurrences kept us on our toes. For example: at breakfast I ran into the first tuk-tuk driver who had ever driven me anywhere, Nang, and he recognized me. Then I saw my friend Vutha who works at ODC, since we passed by his house. And he waved us in and we hung out there for a bit. There were three very strange, disturbed individuals we met too. Everything was a bit surreal. Let’s begin with the journey down through Kandall and Ta Khmao.

P1070660

P1070659

P1070657

P1070656

P1070655

P1070654

P1070653

P1070652

P1070651

P1070650

P1070648

P1070645

P1070644

P1070643

P1070661

P1070663

P1070664

P1070667

The following are images on the island:

P1070671

P1070672

P1070674

P1070676

P1070677

P1070678

P1070680

P1070682

P1070683

P1070684

P1070686

P1070689

Banana:

P1070690

We played volleyball with these guys:

P1070691

P1070692

Papaya:

P1070693

P1070694

P1070695

P1070696

Mango:

P1070697

P1070698

P1070699

P1070700

P1070701

P1070702 P1070734 P1070733 P1070732 P1070729 P1070726 P1070722 P1070721 P1070719 P1070718 P1070717 P1070716 P1070715 P1070714 P1070713 P1070712 P1070710 P1070709 P1070705 P1070704

P1070738 P1070739 P1070740 P1070741 P1070742 P1070744 P1070745 P1070746 P1070748 P1070749 P1070750

A creepy French-speaking Khmer dude who wouldn’t leave us alone:

P1070751