We got lost in the Penh this past Sunday and it was remarkable to see how a different face of the city that seems to be growing at a seriously fast pace. And this other face was only 5 minutes from our flat, in the Boeung Trabek neighbourhood of Phnom Penh, which is said to be undergoing a massive transformation with the construction of a massive shopping plaza. We just like it because it’s fairly quiet, fairly green and it bodes a plethora of cute traditional wooden villas all about. On the other hand…the trees make for mosquitoes, which also makes it a bit of a dengue fever-prone area. But no fever-delerium yet, thankfully! You’ll probably see these posts get a little crazier then.
So to take a break from my weekend work days, D and I decided to go exploring! And little did we know that all we needed to was drive 5 minutes down Street 105 and we’d find a completely new community that we’d never seen before. Boeung Trabek (Boeung means lake in Khmer) most definitely has 2 faces. There is that major shopping plaza, half of which is still empty. But there’s also the much poorer “lakeside” area which is located at the end of street 105. And it just so happens that one of the city’s colonial era (and stinky) sewage canals, which runs all the way down street 105, emptying into this one community. On top of that, the Boeung Trabel (like the fate of other Phnom Penh lakes), is also getting filled up right now in the name of development. This makes for some interesting geopolitical dynamics . So this is where D and I found ourselves on a Sunday afternoon and I thought I’d share some pics. This is just one of those stark reminders that development aid is still very much needed in Cambodia. So don’t let the ritz and the glitz of Sihanouk Blvd. fool you.