Photographer's Note

.Take 8 (Click the number for info of entire trip)

93 kilometers from Phnom Penh, Kampong Chhnang is a central province of Cambodia. Its capital is Kampong Chhnang. This province consists of 8 districts, 69 communes and 546 villages; total population is 500,000 with a large community of Vietnamese living on boats as shown in this photo. Kampong Chhnang's main industries are fishing, rice farming and pottery. In Khmer, chhnang means pot.

Believed to be the most beautiful of Cambodian provinces, Kampong Chhnang—with its green paddy fields, rivers and sugar palm-lined horizons—is the destination to have the sights of the traditional Cambodian way of life.

During the late ’75s, the massive Kampong Chhnang Airport has been built by Khmer Rouge to transport rice from Cambodia to China, using as many as 400,000 people under the so-called “forced-labor” on the site, and of those, more 350,000 have died, many had been pushed into a pit and buried alive with a bulldozer. This is largely because they were built using forced labor, who toiled to lay 150cm of gravel as a foundation, topped by eight-inch thick slabs of concrete. But the KR never had a chance to use it since Vietnamese army marched into the area and pushed the KR all the way to Thailand border just as the airport was on the verge of completion. The hands that built the airport were buried in the soft soil and villagers say the stench from the mass graves in the area persisted for about a decade.

This picture has been taken of Psar Kraom (or the port area) with a large floating Vietnamese village. At Kampong Chhnang the river narrows and one can view the rich tapestry of Cambodian rural life. Not only an important stopping point between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Kampong Chhnang is a busy rural port town with bustling markets and a strong French influence during colonial times. The legacy of this is a fine selection of colonial architecture, most of which is located north of the town's main square in the French Quarter, with shady boulevards and large gardens.


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Additional Photos by Ngy Thanh (ngythanh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 472 W: 125 N: 2331] (8456)
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