The other morning I got up before sunrise and headed out to the turnaround in front of the Japanese Bridge to wander and shoot photos in the nearby Tuol San Kher outdoor market. The Japanese Bridge is the main bridge leading East from Phnom Penh and it spans the Tonle Bassac River that runs through town. The Mekong River is just a few miles East of that.
This massive new building has been catching my eye lately. Its a whole new neighborhod really.
This shot is from a small park inside the traffic turnaround circle.
This sculpture, a hand gun with the barrel tied into a knot (good idea) is in the middle of the circle...
And in front of the sculpture at sunrise are a few dozen folks, mostly Cambodian ladies doing early morning Jazzercise. The Japanese Bridge entrance is in the background.
A few street scenes as I head North to wander around the Tuol San Kher outdoor market and shoot some portraits.
The Tuol San Kher market used to be a very muddy affair until it was paved earlier this year. So many roads have been paved this year in Phnom Penh. It really transforms the neighborhoods and makes the people proud.. as well they ought to be.
Behind the BIG BUILDING. Some very interesting juxtapositions here... the way modern building and the lovely and oh so civilized shaded back-alley just next to an outdoor market with vendors squatting on the sidewalk selling fresh fruits, veggies, and other sustenance.
My erstwhile moto-dope. Moto-dop is how its really spelled I guess. In Khmer it just means "the guy who drives the moto (a motorcycle), but I prefer my slightly mangled version as it aptly describes a lot of these guys. Many are very nice and are good, safe drivers, but just as many are wreckless idiots. In Cambodia they like to shorten the English words... so a motorcycle is called a moto. A Coca Cola is not a Coke, but a Coca. Paracetemol is Para, etc
A safety conscious Khmer lady does some early morning shopping.
A young Cham woman in the market. The Cham are Cambodian Muslims, a minority here in the Kingdom that enjoys more rights than Muslims in France, at least as far as being able to wear their head coverings in Cambodian schools. Despite many human rights abuses and problems here in the Kingdom, at least people have religious freedom! Unfortunately many Cambodians, especially in the rural Provinces, are extremely superstitious and beleive in witchcraft, magic spells, curses and other folderol. In fact, I always have to be careful to not shoot just three Cambodian people in a photo becasue they believe that the person in the middle will have bad luck and die young. Although I certianly have shot groups of three I've happy to report that there have been no casualties to date.
This lady is making me a tasty Khmer breakfast, weird kind of omelette with mystery-meat, bean sprouts, rice noodles and other unknown but delicious ingredients. Only 50 cents!
A toddler, the child of one of the market's vendor ladies. Everyody has kids in Cambodia... lots of 'em. In fact, 50% of the population here today is under 21.
Today's "honey" shot.
A happy bananna saleswoman at the Tuol San Kher Market near the Japanese Bridge in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.