Phnom Penh

Three friends watching an aerobics class at Botum Park at dusk.
Phnom Penh was once called the 'Paris of the East' because of its beautiful gardens and parks, wide boulevards, ornate bridges over crisscrossing canals and stunning French colonial architecture and despite its recent history some of these things are still evident. The canals have been since landscaped into long wide recreation areas and many of the bridges are gone but there are plenty of parks and some stunning examples of the grand colonial buildings remain. Their days may be numbered, however, according to an article in the latest Southeast Asia Globe titled 'Out with the old in with the new.' Sadly it seems although legislation and planning documentation exists on the Phnom Penh municipality website these buildings are quite rapidly being replaced by the ubiquitous glass, steel and concrete monoliths (often a private status symbol belonging to one of the countries 'Riche') that line the streets of many of the worlds cities- making one country look much like the next. One historian and long term resident is quoted as saying he believes '40% of the capitals several hundred colonial buildings has (sic) been knocked down in two decades.'
'They (Cambodians) do not understand or love the traditional or old style building' says The Secretary of State Samraing Kamsan, by way of explanation, 'You need to teach them to understand the value.'
Sadly it may already be too late.
The outdoor yoga looks like fun, I hope these places can be preserved!
posted July 14th, 2010  
Great shot Tanya. Would love to have those sort of outdoor classes where I live.
posted July 14th, 2010  
Thanks for such great information with your beautiful photo...
posted July 14th, 2010  
beautiful colors, tanya....and fantastic street shot.
posted July 14th, 2010  
Well, there's an idea--aerobics in the middle of a park! Not sure I'd want the spectators though!
posted July 14th, 2010  
Wonderful shot....favorite of the day for me!
posted July 14th, 2010  
I really like the post production coloration that you add to your photos. Nice framing of this shot.
posted July 14th, 2010  
Sad if these places may not be preserved for future generations. Is cool that they hold aerobic classes in the parks though...for free I would guess?
posted July 14th, 2010  
Urban blight I guess is a world wide phenomenon! It is now your job to go take beautiful pictures of all the old beautiful buildings before they are all torn down!
posted July 14th, 2010  
Those are really moving words about the plight of "the old", Tanya. What a sad loss when you see the beautiful building in the background of your joyful photo. Love the image in the picture...I did aerobics for over 20 years, but left when our teacher quit...quite miss it!
posted July 14th, 2010  
How beautiful!! It's sad that Cambodians don't cherish their historical buildings... I hope it's not too late whan they realiza that they should!
posted July 15th, 2010  
Destruction of beautiful old historic buildings seems to be the norm in most cities, all in the name of 'progress' and the mighty dollar. I've been to many different cities and most of the time you have to search out what's different!
posted July 15th, 2010  
this is a lovely shot.
posted July 17th, 2010  
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