Cambodia Capital- Phnom Penh

by Rain March. 29, 2008 1835 views

Before landing at the airport, the excitement of visiting Cambodia finally strucked me as I looked out the window and saw a curiously different landscape.

I saw a flat horizon with mostly green areas (i think they are forests), and occassionally some areas of yellow, dusty patches. I though they were the effect of dry season on the farmlands, but as I looked closer, I though they looked like cracks on earth, spliting everywhere I can see.

Riding into the city, the streets are quite busy with scooters and cars. The store fronts, curiously resembled the old days in Taiwan I think 50 years ago. Plus, most of the bigger stores always have Chinese characters, which gave a China-Town look to the whole scene.

I'm at the interenet cafe now, avioding the hot sun, about 30 degrees. Later, I plan to have a stroll in the city centre, getting a idea of the Cambodian life. And hopefuly, to catch a Showdow Puppet show this evening.

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The rest of the day I had been busy walking and absorping what I had seen.

Still not quite gotten the sense of distance and directions I thought I was lost for a couple time (although in fact, I was very close and entirely on the right track ^,^).

I had taken the route right into the local neighborhoods, and just as I'd taken the turn back on to the busy areas, I deeply felt the differences.

I have to re-visit my earlier statement about the impression of earlier Taiwan. I had not meant economically nor historically, but in the essence of the local people, their life-style and their working effort. I've seen them in their ventor trollies, booths, stores; the “front yard” in front of the houses where children ran around playing and eldly gathered chatting. Personally, I felt the similiarily.

But, there are other parts in this city that are the same as any modern Western city. The deterating and abandonment of some older areas/buildings, while new ones are built. Espeically, when I strolled down a high-end neighbourhood or shopping street. I saw brand-name shops, Toy'R'us-like stores, even an Addidas promoting booth with a big screen to play Wii. Imported cars running on the street, Lexus, Mercedes, Land Rover, CRV, mostly commonly seen are the Camary.

OK, I was prepared for this, but still my senses are knocked down, I am not quite ready to comment on this.

Anyways, let me explain my photos:
- I had briefly walked pass the Independence Monument which served to remeber independence from foreign rule, and also for the war dead.
- Snap shot of the Royal Palace, which I will visit tomorrow, in front is a street vendor passing by.
- modern invasion of technology
- influence of foreign cultures; I had seen a lot of Chinese and Korean invested shops and companies.
- a memorial museum for the cruelty at the S-21 prison, it was an extremely upsetting place to visit, but its place in the history of humanity is crucial
- the high-light of my day: the Showdow Puppet Show. I had been lucky to catch this show, which also included traditional dancing, singing and music performance. I was tranquillized in their dancing beats and their artistry in the puppets and custumes.
(I highly recommend visiting the Sovanna Phum Art Association, http://shadow-puppets.org/ [shadow-puppets.org])

Independence Monument

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