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Report - Cambodia – Colonial and Olympian relics, Battambang & Phnom Penh – Feb 2015

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by elliot5200, May 14, 2015.

  1. elliot5200

    elliot5200 28DL Regular User
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    There are two types of derps in Cambodia: old French colonial ones (1860-1940s) and strangely enough, Olympian ones. There isn’t much info on the latter but here’s what I found on the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh– quite fascinating stuff:

    The stadium might have been built to host the 1963 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games, but the games were cancelled due to political problems in Cambodia.

    The stadium played a small part in the 1966 FIFA World Cup. Unexpectedly, North Korea faced Australia in a qualifier. Because North Korea lacked diplomatic relations with most countries, finding a suitable venue for the match proved difficult, until Head of State Norodom Sihanouk, an ally of Kim Il-sung, said the matches could be held in Phnom Penh. The matches attracted 40,000 fans, with Sihounouk decreeing half would cheer for Australia, while the other half cheered the Koreans. The matches were held on 21 November 1965 and on 24 November 1965 with North Korea winning both (6–1 and 3–1). Because South Korea and all African teams had withdrawn in protests against FIFA, North Korea were thus directly qualified to the final tournament, where they reached the quarter-final.

    Among the facilities are Olympic-size pools for swimming and diving[2] and an indoor volleyball court with a capacity of up to 8,000, now known as the Olympic Stadium Indoor Arena.


    During the Khmer Rouge era, the stadium was used as an execution site where officials of the Khmer Republic formerly led by Lon Nol were killed.[6]

    In the decades following the Khmer Rouge era, the stadium facilities fell into disrepair. In 2000 the stadium complex was redeveloped by a Taiwanese firm, the Yuanta Group, which refurbished the stadium but also redeveloped parcels of the complex into condominiums and commercial properties.[7][8]

    As of 2007, the stadium has come to be a popular attraction for Phnom Penh residents, who attend daily exercise sessions, as well as football games and other activities.

    So good old North Korea, winning the World Cup. The running track was buzzing with people doing their evening aerobics sessions but the buildings inside were empty, reeking of art deco. The basketball court in particular, was really eerie, you could just hear the high-pitch wails of bats flying around but it was too dark to get any photos with my phone camera. Oh well.

    IMG_20150207_181737_zpsnyuw82nu.jpg

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    IMG_20150207_183457_zpsezz2bc1j.jpg

    Aerobic frolics:

    IMG_20150207_192508_zpss3vjiyab.jpg

    Anyway, there are Olympian/colonial ruins scattered around the whole country and Battambang has some of my favourite:

    The old railway – the old sheds are now inhabited by squatters:

    IMG_20150219_120910_zpspfdzouiv.jpg

    IMG_20150219_121408_zps6x7hbkvw.jpg

    IMG_20150219_121627_zpsueogv3qj.jpg

    IMG_20150219_121736_zpssxw3gbfc.jpg

    IMG_20150219_121935_zpslsoszm16.jpg

    IMG_20150219_122024_zps7sotzib1.jpg


    This art deco station blew in the middle of Cambodia blew me away.

    IMG_20150219_124002_zpskwsc1lru.jpg

    IMG_20150219_124025_zpsjvbpx8cz.jpg

    IMG_20150219_121300_zpsjvjuxjvb.jpg

    The ticket hall

    IMG_20150219_124043_zpspt1bjnaa.jpg

    An old colonial cinema. Believe it or not, it still opens every so often to screen Khumer horror films:

    IMG_20150219_133242_zpsvakmc0fp.jpg

    Looks like a new cult classic

    IMG_20150219_133409_zpso8gfzagc.jpg

    The old Olympian boxing complex:

    IMG_20150219_141754_zpsmrhmtg2m.jpg

    The Olympian pool, now refurbished for kids’ swimming lessons:

    IMG_20150219_151339_zps0ocq6jj7.jpg

    Not sure what this arch was over the pool, must have been a diving board:

    IMG_20150219_151155_zpsbargo2ej.jpg

    IMG_20150219_151712_zpsaxqha08h.jpg
     
    #1 elliot5200, May 14, 2015
    Last edited: May 15, 2015

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  2. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
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    Really enjoying the series of reports that coming up today from you. I have accumulated years in this part of the world and its good to see these off the tourist trail places.
     
    elliot5200 likes this.
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