for the journey, not the message

Lakeside, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

I had caught the bus from Siem Reap, Cambodia, to the Capital, Phnom Penh. One of my shoes had broken, so now I was walking around barefoot, with size 12 feet (UK) it had been particularly difficult to find anything new, however I’m quite sure that the barefoot look made haggling for a lower price a little easier. Two girls I had met in Siem Reap recommended a guesthouse I could stay in when I arrived in Phnom Penh.

The lake had been sold to the Koreans, and there plans had been made to build a new Central Business District for the country on the filled in remains. What had once been a beautiful, though man-made lake was now a desolate, mellow place. An atmosphere hung in the air, local men came in the daytime and chainsawed the last remaining palm trees down, and the women came round with old cement sacks to pick up the litter. I rented a motorbike for the two weeks I spent there, riding around the city every hour of the day, this city constantly surprised me. One night, around 3am, I went for a drive, after an hour of driving I had become completely lost. The streets were dark and silent. The traffic lights are turned off at night, making junctions quite a bit more thrilling. I came across a huge market in the middle of a residential area, in the dark of the night thousands of people were shopping for their groceries, people spoke in hushed voices, and no lights lit the piles of vegetable on the streets. I wished I had my camera, to photograph this surreal moment.

I found my way back to Lakeside, and watched the sunrise (as I had done for the previous five nights). The lights from a nearby government building lit the sky with a purple haze, a sight too good to sleep through.

This was the place I stayed for the longest on my travels, I had become mesmerised by the tension in the air, constantly something big felt like it was going to happen. Eventually I told myself I had to go to Vietnam, and continue on my journey.

7 responses

  1. I love these photos. The last one is especially breathtaking.

    28.January.2012 at 11.44pm

  2. EL

    wow!! These are AMAZING shots! The sunset is unreal! I’m jealous.. I wanted to take that picture! ; )

    Thank you for sharing this story.

    love & light


    29.January.2012 at 12.40am

  3. Thanks for stopping by. Amazing photos! Thanks for sharing.

    29.January.2012 at 1.58am

  4. You have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award!

    29.January.2012 at 4.41pm

  5. the last one is just stunning!

    29.January.2012 at 7.28pm

  6. Vong Samphors

    Fantastic mate ! for me is all very good memories , now completly gone …. very miss the sun set on the lake even i still stay in here !!!!

    30.January.2012 at 11.21am

    • Cheers bro, how are things over in Cambodia? A couple of my friends are heading over your way in the summer I think, I’ll send them over to #10.

      30.January.2012 at 1.57pm

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