Siem Reap in motion: photos from now and then (1990s and early 2000)
- December 20, 2013 at 1:12 pm #600
Nowadays Siem Reap is one of the fastest developing cities in South East Asia. During the 1990s however, it was hardly more than a sleeping province town, recovering from the horrors of the Khmer Rouge. With the arrival of the first tourists in the mid-90’s everything changed. New hotels, guesthouses and restaurants are popping up everywhere to meet the yearly increasing visitor numbers to Angkor Wat.
Siem Reap’s ever-changing cityscape inspired us to start this forum topic called Siem Reap in motion. The concept is simple: In every post we share a picture of the past and compare it to a recent picture taken at the exact same location. We hope that these ‘now and then’ comparison shots will inspire everyone to value what they see and absorb the atmosphere, before the next big change…
We need your help!
If you took some pictures of Siem Reap town in the recent past (90’s and early 2000), then we’d love to see them. Old pictures of town are quite hard to find.(Understandably, most photographers only have eye for the magnificent Angkor temples.) So we would be very grateful for any contributions that you can make to this small photo project!December 20, 2013 at 3:34 pm #603
Let’s get started with our journey in time! On the left, you see a picture of Siem Reap’s famous Laundry Bar. This picture was taken almost exactly 10 years ago on April 12, 2003. On the right, you see how Laundry Bar looks today, April 9, 2013.
Laundry Music Bar opened its doors in 2002, being one of the longest lasting bars in Siem Reap. Today, the place is still very popular with expats and tourists alike. (Photo credits left picture: Pigalle @ Flickr.)December 20, 2013 at 3:45 pm #606
Today we share a ‘now and then’ shot from a well known area in Siem Reap: Sivutha Boulevard, viewed from Phsar Kandal. The picture on the left is taken in 1998 and shows The Sky Club (Vimean Akas), which was located at the corner of Sivutha boulevard and 2 Thnou Street (or Hospital Street). On the right, you see Canadia Bank at the same location in a photo taken this morning almost 15 years later.
The Sky was a night club where some of the expats were going to learn and practice Khmer dances until it closed its doors in early 2000. It remained abandoned for 4 or 5 years, before they started building the Canadia Bank offices.
Photo credits left picture: Eric StockerDecember 20, 2013 at 3:57 pm #611
Today, we show you a perfect example of the incredible evolution of our city during the last fifteen years. On the left, an ordinary building in the center of town in 1998. On the right, some well known restaurants located in the most famous street of Siem Reap, Pub Street. Same place, same view, only fifteen years between the two pictures. It took us hours to find and recognize the exact location where the first shot was taken. Amazing isn’t it?December 20, 2013 at 4:03 pm #614
Today, another impressive comparison between the center of Siem Reap in the late 90’s and nowadays. In the left picture, Sivutha Boulevard in the direction towards the roundabout, photo taken in 1999 approximately in front of which is now Tell restaurant. On the right side, the same point of view in May 2013 with the new market and upstairs Triangle restaurant.
Photo credits left picture: Eric StockerDecember 20, 2013 at 4:07 pm #617
National Road 6 is one of the main axes of Cambodia, going from Poipet and the Thai border to Phnom Penh. Siem Reap is on the way, and we will show you today an amazing old picture of it. On the left side, NR6 in 1999, arriving from Phnom Penh and just before Wat Bo’s crossroad. On the right side, the same point of view in May 2013.December 21, 2013 at 2:01 am #620
Today, another example of how fast Siem Reap is changing. On the left, a picture taken in 1998, showing the corner of Pub Street where Bodia and U-care are located nowadays. On the right, a picture of the exact same location 15 years later. It’s surprising to see how desolated one of the busiest areas in Siem Reap used to be.December 21, 2013 at 2:09 am #623
Olivier Lesueur offered us a few amazing pictures he has taken in 2003. We are very grateful for that, thank you Olivier!
If you also have some old photos of Siem Reap that you want to share with us, then feel free to post them here or get in touch…
The left picture is taken in 2003. We see Street #11 (Red piano, Central Café, Old Market) viewed from Sivutha Blvd. In the right picture, taken ten years later, we see a lot of changes. On the location where Triangle Market and Restaurant is located now, there used to be a small primary school until around 2012.December 21, 2013 at 2:20 am #626
In this post another unique photo series of one of Siem Reap’s most famous spots, Phsar Chas or the Old Market. On the left, a picture taken by Eric Stocker in 1998. On the right, the same location 15 years later. The most notable change is that the building where Monument Books and Yellow Mango is located now, wasn’t there in 1998.December 21, 2013 at 2:29 am #629
Pi Thnou is one of the busiest streets in the Siem Reap center, going from the river and Phsar Chas (Old Market) to Phsar Kandal (Central Market). Along of it, you can find the Provincial Hospital, U-care, Blue Pumpkin, Viva and much more. On the left a picture from 1998. On the right, the same location in 2013. Note that in 1998, the building where U-care and Blue Pumpkin are located was still a warehouse…December 21, 2013 at 2:36 am #632
In this photo series, we see the location of the roundabout at the beginning of Sivutha Boulevard. In the left photo from 1998, there is no roundabout and several large billboards advertising cigarette and beer brands. In the right picture, the same view in the year 2013.December 21, 2013 at 2:46 am #635
Did you know that there used to be a club on the location of the “Terrasse des Elephants” hotel? In the left picture, taken in 1998, you can see the “Bakheng Club” which used to be one of the highlights of the Siem Reap nightlife. In the right picture, the same point of view shows you the well-known hotel which was built after the destruction of the club in the early 2000’s.
Thanks to Eric Stocker for this amazing photo.December 21, 2013 at 2:52 am #638
The Old Market, or Phsar Chas in Khmer, is the heart of Siem Reap. Often busy, especially in the early morning, it’s always a nice place to visit. In the left picture, taken in 1998 by Eric Stocker, you can see its North-East corner, opposite Viva Restaurant (Pi Thnou Street). In the right photo, the same point of view 15 years later.December 21, 2013 at 2:58 am #641
Cambodia set an example for AIDS prevention and control in Asia. The government, helped by partners like USAID, UKAID and several others, have exerted huge efforts to reduce the spread of HIV. The result is that the population prevalence declined from 1.2% in 2001, to 0.5% in 2009. But there’s still a lot more work to do… In the left picture, a safe sex campaign on Sivutha Blvd in 1998. In the right one, a modern advertisement for a local condom brand, still fighting for the same cause as 15 years ago.December 21, 2013 at 3:05 am #644
Nowadays, the best place to buy your newspaper in Siem Reap is on the corner of Provincial Hospital, opposite Canadia Bank and Phsar Kandal. In the left picture, taken in 1998, the kiosque was already there but I guess with limited choice. In the right picture, the same view with more than one stall and a large selection of magazines.
Thanks to Eric Stocker for the picture.
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