Sunday, January 8, 2012

Risky Trip

along the road to Vietnamese border, we see the motordub delivered a lot of products from Vietnam for one time

On New Year, I visit my friend’s wedding at Snouk, Kroches province where the fresh water dolphins live. Snouk is just about 18 kilometers from the Vietnamese border. After the wedding, I cross the border to Vietnam to visit a small market called Varler.’ Because I had never been there before, I expect it will be a huge market like Phsar Orussey or Phsar Kandal in Phnom Penh. Actually, it’s just several flats in which the Vietnamese bring their fruits to store before they transfer to Cambodia.

I really get upset with the permission paper that I ask from the police in Cambodian side. But Varler market is just a two kilometers from the border and I can even see it from the border. I was told that I must not violate the Vietnamese laws, or I will be jailed. But my friend Chan So Ratha insists me to go beyond though I have to break the law. Ou Mom, another friend of mine, stand silently. Finally we follow him. Each of us exchange 10 US dollar to Vietnamese currency Dong. All of us get about 600 000 dong for 30 US dollar.

We decide to go to a bigger market called Loc Ninh, about 14 kilometers from the border. Ratha and Mom ride behind a big woman on motordub and leave before me. I ride behind a young Vietnamese boy who claims that his mother is also Cambodian. But he speaks very bad Khmer. I find it difficult to communicate with him, but he is likely to know what I want. As seeing the camera hanging around my neck, he realizes I want to take some beautiful places in Vietnam back, so he cross some interesting place, football field, the tanks display or the swimming pool.

When we arrive at the market, it is not too big either. It looks similar to Phsar Dermtkov in Phnom Penh. But Ratha admires the irrigation system near the market. He gets surprised, “wow! water is so clean. I want to try how it tastes.”

As soon as I hear Ratha’s word, my body gets shaking as it disgusts with this dirty water. Anyways, I know he is just kidding me. We look for something to eat, but we don’t know where to get food. We decide to go to the high way though we are risky to be arrested by the police. Finally we find a local food store. Three of us enter, and I walk next to the shelves where foods are stored. But a friend of mine, Ratha, ordered by speaking in Khmer to the seller. “Wow!,’ I am thinking in my mind. “If she knows we are Cambodian and tell police to arrest us. We probably can not protect ourselves because our permission paper is about 10 kilometers out of valid.” I keep silent, but I point my figure to any food I want to eat. I used to live in France and visited Germany, so I know very well that body language is more efficient in such occasion.

While we are sitting, an old woman, about 60 years old, walks from the inside and brings food to us. She speaks in Khmer to us, “oh! all of you are Cambodian! I confused that you are Lao. That’s why I don’t speak with you because I don’t speak Lao. If you are Cambodian, I also speak Khmer.”

Everybody gets surprised because we don’t expect that we will meet any one here who can speak Khmer. We don’t ask many questions to this old woman, and we just listen to her instead. She tells us that she was born in Kraches province, but her parents are also Vietnamese. She studied French language in Phnom Penh. But in 1974, before Khmer Rouge regime, her family moved to settle in Vietnam. She got married and had children then. But she says she missed her livelihood in Cambodia so much. A few years ago she visited Phnom Penh, and she saw a lot of things have been changed, but she still recognized Phnom Penh very well. That’s it her story.

I just visit the market a few hours and then we return to the border. Ratha is a bit happy as he can make it up with safe trip. We get out of Vietnam around 5 o’clock. At the border, I see many trucks export products from Vietnam to Cambodia. at the same time, i see a few oxcarts export some products from Cambodia to Vietnam. I feel that the exportation is still classical for the Cambodia side. It’s not fair!

the immigration office at the Vietnam side

the immigration office at Cambodia side

Cambodia exports products to Vietnam by oxcard

Chan So Rath (left) & Ou Mom

the irrigation system at Loc Ninh market in Vietnam

the tank is displayed in Vietnam

the road in Vietnam

Loc Ninh market

A Vietnamese woman wears her traditional hate Doun

the football field

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why I Named this Blog "Kampong Preah"?

Actually, Kampong Preah is the name of a commune in Sangke district, Khet Battambang. I had lived and learned there for many years. Though I have left this commune, the images of it still remind me, especially my family there. This blog is too private, but it probably makes somebody who lives in Kampong Preah feel proud while he or she sees the name of his or her commune is used on the website. Anyways, the blog really welcomes everybody!

Photo on header is not the image of Kampong Preah. Actually it is the picture of Battambang town. I found no interesting photo from my commune, so I use this instead.

My Photos of the Year

All of these photos I have taken entire year. The places are at different places in Cambodia. Wherever I go to do my report, I always bring back my portrait or landscape photos.


I was on Aoral mountain in Kampong Speu province. Actually I didn't do any report. I just visit there to see how the life of people is.


This picture I took in Aoral distict, Kampong Speu province too when I met these folk boys jumping into the river for the swim. They didn't care about my camera, and they even showed me how they jumped.


This is 'Te Teuk Pous' or Hot Spring in Aoral district, Kampong Speu province. It's hard to believe if I don't see by my own eyes the hot water emerging from the ground.


I portrait myself when i was at Yeak Laum, the former volcano in Rattanakiri. I do report three stories, grave yard of ethnic minority, gem stone, and jungle girl with my editor.


I was in Pailin at the stupa of burmese ethnic minority, 'Kula', living in Cambodia during 50s, 60s, or 70s and those people mostly had done business on gem.



During Water festival many people come to Phnom Penh, but we living in Phnom Penh left for Mondulkiri. It's time for us to relax. I really enjoyed with my friends, driving in the forest, crossing the water fall, and invading villages of ethnic people. Unforgettable trip!

My German lecturer Isabel Rodde visited us in Cambodia. Sorry that some classmates were missing on that day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

World's Fair Day at AUP

AUP is my university in Paris. This university educates and entertain its students in the same time. Recently they hold World's Fair, so students from each country can have a table with their tranditional foods.



Well, the table looks like this. It is a table of Macedonia, and Tiyana owns this table.










Wow, I don't remmember this table.










here is Indian's table.
















don't know this table either, but I look on the map, it should be Tanzania.








Oh, this one is Norway's table.








This is Italian's table




















Many students go crazy after we have a drink





Never forget Ashley, my friend. First met her at French TV3

Khmer New Year

After I moved to study in Phnom Penh, I rarely visited my home in New Year. The same with previouse years, this year I cannot meet my relatives, especially my mother because I leave them. However I still can visit buddhist pagoda in Vincence in Paris, France in New Year.

Here is buddhist pagoda in Vincence. Cambodian, Loas and even Thai celebrate Khmer New Year and other buddhist festivals here.








Behind me, Cambodian people cell Cambodian foods. They import them from Cambodia. I observe that some people who visit Buddhist pagoda does not just want to pray for their dead relatives, but als they want to buy some Cambodian foods here. They miss them very much.




17th of April is supposed the very last day of Khmer New Year. In France Cambodian people also take this day to selebrate a pray for people who passed away in Pol Pot regime.

Actually 17th of April 1975 is the day that Khmer Rouge conquer Phnom Penh, so they also celebrate to remind this success.


Some people show their children who were born France and have near heard Khmer Rouge the pictures of Khmer Rouge seneir leaders.









Cambodian treasure! We can buy T-shirt, Sampot from Cambodia here.


This table looks Cambodian.







After they finish praying, they enjoy dancing in front of buddhist pagoda.

The viewers are more than the dance. Maybe they don't know how to dance in Cambodian style.







Robamm Trod(Khmer spelling) is always performed during Khmer New Year, and it is also avalable in France.









I know many kinds of Cambodian dance, but this one seems new to me.

I hear a woman exclaim that "oh, chicken dance!" I think she's right. It should be chicken dance becasue as we see, chicken are on their heads.





Cambodian teenagers in France play the same Cambodian teenagers in Cambodia play during Khmer New Year days.

Unfortunately, they don't play powder and water.






Cambodian women students in Paris. Wearing red, she is studying PHD in France. I call her Bong Sokneang because she is older than me. Another girl I don't remmeber her name even though we enjoy Khmer New Year together in Maison du Cambodge with other Cambodian students the whole day.
[no read!]
I never dare to tell my international friends that Cambodian girls are pretty because I hardly find any evidence to prove them.


My simple life in France









Cambodian students are making letter (Happy Khmer New Year) in Maison du Cambodge.









No, I never play Chhayam, even in France.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Let's Listen to My Profile

RFI correspondent did my profile. Let's listen to it with a slid show of my pictures.

video