Thursday, December 27, 2012

Phnom Penh 1 Walking Tour (12/27/2012)

Still Thursday, December 27, 2012
We arrived in Phnom Penh after lunch and had a free afternoon. We decided to head right out to follow a Phnom Penh Architecture Walking Tour.
We also saw other things along the way, starting with a supposed former colonial residence, now housing the  Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC):
Motor scooter break:
Sugar cane juice man:
A busy city playground:
The new Vattanac Financial Tower (to be Phom Penh's tallest building at 39 floors) behind the Lady Penh Memorial:
Legend says that in 1372, an old nun named Lady Penh went to fetch water in the Mekong and found a dead Koki tree (Hopea odorata/Takian) floating down the stream. Inside a hole of the Koki tree were four bronze and one stone Buddha statues. She had people pile up earth behind her house, then used the Koki trunk to build a temple to house the statues. The temple was called Wat Phnom Daun Penh.
Lady Penh:

Across the street was the small hill or phnom.
Kent with a bamboo naga (seven-headed serpent) head:
Now called simply Wat Phnom, the prominent stupa contains the ashes of King Ponhea Yat who moved the capital to Phnom Penh:
The sanctuary for the found Buddha statues:
I'm not sure exactly which ones were the original statues:
Nearby is the American Embassy:
Local volleyball in a covered arena:
Ha, ha! So many trees covered the facades of the buildings, that I though this was the best I could do for the former Commissariat/Central Police Station (c 1910) at No. 58 Street 360:
Later I was to find that the corner on Post Office Square was the real front door.
Post Office Square also has the former Hotel de la Poste (1890s):
Another source called it the former Chamber of Commerce, but it is most famous for being the place where Gerard Depardieu served drinks from behind the bar in the French movie, City of Ghosts.
The Central Post Office was built in 1890:
The post office is one of the best examples of French colonial architecture in Phnom Penh.
There is also the former Banque de l'Indochine (late 19th century):
Nearby, Street 100 is supposed to look like old Phnom Penh:
Restoring the former Town Hall?
The fowl seem to want to climb in:

The National Treasury (1890s):
The faux naga bridge (there once was a canal to cross here):
Customs Office (1920s) with Art Nouveau influences at 6-8 Norodom Boulevard:
Former Peugeot dealership (c 1940):
Also at the same intersection of Streets 130 and 49, a couple of buildings in Style Moderne (c1940):
The highlight of Phnom Penh architecture is the Phsar Thmey/Central Market:
Completed in 1937, an Art Deco building designed with plenty of ventilation:
The dome from inside:
Just about everything is sold here:
Even those giant prawns:
A block of apartment houses on Street 53 from older French to 1960s:
A new hospital on Street 154:
They seem to like pink and colored glass (2004?):
Apartment block on Street 154 (1960s):
This is the New Khmer Architecture.
The tangle of utility wires is the best we have ever seen!
Corner of Streets 144 and 49, 1980s office block imitating 1960s:
Across the street is an original 1960s office block:
with distinctive square panels:
The Forestry Administration (1960s) on Street 144 with 3-story bas relief:
Tuk tuk driver on break:
Unusual balconies:
Street 130 apartments (1940s):
Former Hemakcheat Cinema on Street 130:
It appears lived in.
Streets 130 and 15, almost like New Orleans?
No. 86 Street 118 shophouse (1940s) with curved balcony and ironwork:
Former Hotel International (c 1905):
We ran out of time and headed back to the RV Indochina. Along the river was an exhibit of photos by Rosaline Dareth:
At the boat, we wanted to catch the lecture on Modern Cambodian History by Jean-Michel Filippi, PhD, who teaches at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, and is also studying the ethnic languages in Cambodia. Bravo to Dr. Filippi, because no one else could have kept everyone's attention for a full hour speaking about history!

After dinner, we decided to take a tuk tuk ride to see the holiday lights in Phnom Penh. We were able to share the ride with another couple, Karl & Julie.
The American Embassy:
Independence Monument (1958) to commemorate Cambodia's independence from France:
It was designed in the form of a lotus-shaped stupa by Cambodian architect Vann Molyvann.
We were able to keep our curfew by returning well before 23:30!
The RV Indochina bartender could pour both our drinks at once:
Tomorrow, Phnom Penh 2 Royal Palace Cyclo Tour.


Brian Merry said...

Those buildings you labeled 1980s office block and 1960s office block are actually the former USOM office and the former US Embassy, here are some old and new pictures of them.

Jacksonville Stumpes said...

Thank you!