Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chinese Temples in Phnom Penh.

Chinese Temples around Phnom Penh.

With Chinese New Year just around the corner, I thought I'd show a few of these often unnoticed places around town.

Unlike Cambodian Buddhist temples with their huge compounds, towers and spires, Chinese temples are often quiet hard to spot. Even though they often have quite elaborate gates, they seem to slot in between other shop houses and city buildings in such a way that if you aren’t looking for them, you can easily miss them. Some of these temples are Buddhist, and others are Taoist, but I can't claim to know a lot more about them.

The top photo is a fairly plain looking temple on St 167, near the huge Chinese school. The second shows a very elaborate looking one on St 232, in the Boueng Prolit area. It has a recent date outside, and was set up around 2003. The third picture down is of a garish looking place on 276 street, not far from the intersection of Monivong and Sihanouk Boulevards.The fourth picture is the gate of a newly built and ornate temple on Chruoy Changva peninsula, about a kilometer north of the bridge on the banks of the Tonle Sap river. The next picture shows one of the interiors and altars of the same complex, and the one after the staircase down to the river. The second last picture is a temple on Sisowath Quay in the port area, and the last is probably the best known one in town, on St. 13 near Kandal Market. There is one more Chinese temple on St 230 near the Mondiale Center, and a further one on St 53 near the 108 street park, I haven't managed top photograph either yet. If you know of any others let me know.


Anonymous said...

The Khmer Architecture Tour takes you to visit a couple of these temples. The temple on Sisowath was apparently built in the 1880s (according to my notes). There is also another Chinese temple (late 19th early 20th century) that has been completely built over (you can only see glimpses of it between the houses) over near the Sisters of the Providence church. I posted some pictures here:

I apologize in advance for the small photos in the post-I hadn't figured out I what was doing yet. But you can click on the thumbnails to see larger images.

Anonymous said...

PS I'm a big fan of your blog- keep it up!

phnompenhpast said...

Thanks for your comments and information, I'll have to have another look around that neigbourhood.

kev said...

nice blog--thanks for showing the old pics. yes those were probably students outside the monorom hotel--i have seen pics by al rockoff of these hopefuls from close-up, they were just youn g local bourgeiois getting on the bandwagon and hadnt a clue--young people across the world were looking forward to the defeat of imperialism. they should have read their shakespeare, i guess.

phnompenhpast said...

Thanks Kev, just noticed your comment, seems like a few people agree that they weren't real.