Monday, October 05, 2009

Road works on Sivatha

The rain caused many potholes which were a source of problem when there were floods. People on motobikes and bicycles especially fell into the potholes and got stuck or toppled.

New pothole at Psar Kandal or Centre Market

This is what is done to fill up the potholes - throw a pile of rocks on the hole. I suppose later a big roller will flatten the rocks.

I saw some workers throwing some rocks away from the pile. They were spreading the rocks on the road for a roller to flatten them later.

Exposed piping after the rain and flooding. See, if they had done the roads properly the first time around, they would not have to do this with the rocks now. I'm guessing there was not enough cement or tar or whatever during the construction of the roads. I'm also guessing this was due to corrupt contractors. And one should point out all over the world (not just Cambodia) there are corrupt contractors who mix in more sand than cement thus making lousy and unsafe structures. Structures made with spit we sometimes joke.

Plastic Bag shoes

This little girl was wearing plastic bag shoes today and happily posed for a picture when I took out my camera. I have no idea where she was going as the street was dry! Cambodian children are very cute. They love taking photos. If you ever take a photo of a Khmer kid, don't forget to let the child review it!

Siem Reap - Back to normal!

Yay! Back to normal. This is the exact same spot where I took the Tourist Bus and the motorcycle driving through the floods on Saturday. Today the street is dry as a bone. I took this photo in the afternoon about 1pm.

This is Sivatha with the Hotel de la Paix in the background. Dry, too, with the exception of the muddy water in large potholes. The water has washed away much of the gravel and sand. The tiles in front of our shop was also loosened. I'll upload photos to show the road reparation works going on.

Pub Street

Warehouse pub. You can see the difference from a few days ago. I just took this on my way to meet my vet and her friends for dinner around Pub Street.

The Old Market and Grand Cafe.

Blue Pumpkin

And the Bloom street!
I should point out, though, I have no idea what the situation is like closer to the river and at Wat Bo Road. I'll have to check it out tomorrow. Welcome back to Siem Reap!

Floods are gone on Old Market Area

Quick update everyone - the waters have largely subsided at the Old Market Area as of yesterday, so if you are planning to come to Siem Reap, it's really ok now. It rained last night but the rain did not seem to do much damage.

The only place that is still badly flooded is across the Siem Reap river at Wat Bo road. A tourist told me yesterday that water at the road leading to her guesthouse at Wat Bo was still knee high. Also the Old Market road beside the river was still flooded.

I'm sorry I did not update yesterday as was busy with Bloom. Sina, our manager at the workshop in Phnom Penh is up here for a brainstorm meeting.

I'll take a walk around the Old Market in a bit to take photos to confirm that the water is still away.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Water, water everywhere

These photos show the river water spilling onto the side of the Old Market area. River, pavement and road are all one. In the last photo you can a Western tourist helping to push the tuktuk while her husband carries the baby.

Wat Bo Road Floods

The floods are bad across the river on Wat Bo side of the road where I was walking past. I crossed the bridge and saw that the road to Bopha Angkor Hotel was completely flooded.

I saw people swimming outside the expensive private apartments Butterfly Residences, which I found amusing.

Chili Si-dang and Moloppor restaurants on Wat Bo opposite the river from where I took this shot seem to be wet as well...

This man is standing in the river/pavement/road which have all merged into one on Wat Bo Road.


Douk the handicapped bookseller (he has no arms and needs to sell his books with a basket around his neck) saw me taking photos and asked that I take one of him. You can read more about Douk if you are interested.

He looks so lost in this second photo...

Old Market floods

Here I am at the Bloom shop. I took a walk from Lucky Mall on Sivatha just to see how the floods are doing. As expected they are worse than yesterday with the water from the river still overflowing into town.

Kagna our shop assistant in front of our shop.

Kagna showing me how the water has caused the tiles to crack and break.

Junction of Warehouse Pub and the Old Market

Tourist crossing the water barefoot.

Blue Pumpkin

Grand Cafe

Viva restaurant

Street from Old Market towards Steung Hotel where Bloom is located.

Siem Reap flood photos - Day 3

Well, not only did the waters not subside, they have got worse. Central Sivatha Boulevard must be lower than the surrounding streets. It is especially bad at the junction where Hotel de la Paix and Sokimex meets the road to Psar Nge. You can tell how deep it is. The water has risen about a foot from yesterday afternoon. Last night, the motodop would not even take me home that way. We went a long, roundabout way, and I ended up paying twice the fare, which was fair enough, I thought. The water can't be good for the motorbikes.

Here's the thing though. Just behind the hotel de la Paix running parallel along Sivatha is a big drain, which was just completed this year. I'll show you the photos in a bit. I am standing on that parallel street, above the drain, taking this photo. The drains run across the whole street to the Night Market on the opposite side of this road.

Here you can see the railings around the drain with a bit of the sign, "Don't throw rubbish in the drain". In the background is the same spot where that motorbike was in the previous photo.

This is the drain. So, if there was a big hole just where the motorbike in the second photo is, the waters would be able to flow into the drain. Instead, where the water is, the drain is sealed. And as you can see, the drain still has some ways to go before filling up.

We followed the drain where the land was dry. This is one exit onto Sivatha. It's still dry so far. But as we approach Sivatha, we start to see the water.

This is Sivatha in front of LuckCafe, Lucky Supermarket's cafe branch.

And this is Sivatha just before the Prince d'Angkor hotel.

Sivatha boulevard, Siem Reap's main street. I dread going into the Old Market Area. Yesterday, Pub Street was flooded as well. We had dinner at the Alley and the tuktuks were doing brisk business ferrying tourists who did not want to get their track shoes etc wet. My friends told me Ta Prohm temple was completely inaccessible because of the floods. They did manage to visit Angkor Wat and Bayon though.

Siem Reap river overflowing Oct1

First clear day after the rains stopped, on Oct 1. The Siem Reap river overflowed and the waters spilled onto the riverside road, forcing shops at the Old Market facing that road to shut. I wonder if the loss of business will upset owners enough to complain so the city authorities will do something about the drainage system. Even though this is the first time the floods in Siem Reap have been so bad, I am sure it will not be the last time.


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