Cambodia’s Floating Villages: Straight, No Chaser

Floating village in Cambodia

Across the Mekong river from Phnom Penh, lies one of the many Vietnamese ‘floating’ villages in Cambodia. These communities of ethnic Vietnamese formed on the river because according to the government they are not considered Cambodian citizens, and by law cannot own land in Cambodia. So they built their ‘floating’ homes on stilts above the water (technically not built on Cambodian land!).Post Magazine published an interesting article about this.

On our second day visiting Phnom Penh late last year, we took a car ferry over to visit this village as a part of a half day photography tour that I had joined. I found this to be an intriguing, visually exciting (thus the photography tour), but morally confusing experience. Should we be taking tours that profit by taking tourists into the backyards and peeking into houses of some of the most downtrodden people in the country? On the other hand, it is perhaps not a bad thing for the outside world to be aware (even if it is through tourism) of these floating vietnamese communities- who have been completely abandoned by the country they call home. The villagers themselves didn’t seem to be bothered by us at all- in fact the villagers were all smiles, and children were very playful and loved having their photo taken.

 

Read the rest of this post at Straight, No Chaser blog.

Posted by on May 27th, 2015 in Photo Diary | 137comments

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