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Photographer's Note

‘Living in Phnom Penh’


Not immediately lovely or beautiful pictures this time, but I also want to show images from the daily reality of life in Cambodia.

After having spent 40 days in Laos, the most unspoiled country on my entire journey, it were sobering experiences in Cambodia.
While in Laos the difference between rich and poor was not immediately shocking, it became very visible in Cambodia. I may be mistaken about Laos but that was my experience.
Maybe due to the still communist polity ... I don’t know …

Cambodia is clearly a country with a free market economy, with larger cities with sometimes very modern neighbourhoods and shopping centers where wealthy Cambodians go shopping but at the same time with slums like I never saw them in Laos where I had seen only small towns, little traffic, much untouched nature, friendly, helpful and honest residents without being pushy.

After traveling four times in India and enjoying it every time, I often found Cambodia a quite hectic country.
Not everywhere of course.
But a hectic society with a hectic traffic in and around certain cities and on some places with even very pushy people.
I didn’t find the relaxed mentality of Laos (unless on the islands in the south of the country).

I certainly don't want to say that I would regret my visit of Cambodia.
But as I left Laos as a very relaxed person, the nerves were sometimes a bit tense in some places in Cambodia. In some streets, it seemed like everyone wanted something from me.
I don't remember that feeling at all when I was in India. Was it due to having spent 40 days in the extremely relaxed Laos?

Although Cambodia is a lot smaller than Laos, there are significantly more people.
According to Wikipedia, there were 15 million Cambodians in 2015 and many live in straitened circumstances.
Think of an overpopulated Phnom Penh, a lot of trash on the street in some neighbourhoods, more tuk-tuk drivers than potential customers, a prostitution problem, …

I know that the country has become very popular with Western and Asian travellers. It was obviously much busier there than in Laos or Malaysia.
I also consider my visit very educational and there is of course the enormous cultural heritage of the country. But as a personal experience, my best description remains ‘hectic’ ...

All three pictures here are taken in the center of Phnom Penh, looking down from the main bridge over the Mekong.

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5380 W: 17 N: 13077] (52466)
  • Genre: Lieux
  • Medium: Couleur
  • Date Taken: 2020-01-25
  • Exposition: 30 secondes
  • Versions: version originale, Workshop
  • Date Submitted: 2020-04-16 9:48
Viewed: 0
Points: 52
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Additional Photos by Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5380 W: 17 N: 13077] (52466)
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