Sunday, November 14, 2010
Chruoy Changva Bridge
In 1966, the Sangkum Reah Niyum Bridge, later renamed the Cambodia-Japan Friendship Bridge, was built with funds provided by Japan.I've only ever heard foreigners refer to it as "The Japanese Bridge," somewhat of a misnomer as there are a huge number of Japanese bridges all over the country. It is known locally as Chruoy Changva Bridge because it links the city with the peninsula of that name, and leads on to National route 6, which can take you to Siem Reap or Kampong Cham and the Northeast.
It was mined twice in 1973, apparently by North Vietnamese sappers, and eventually destroyed, its two middle spans dropping into the Tonle Sap river below. It was eventually repaired in the early 1990s, again with Japanese funding.
The first picture shows the bridge in the late 60swhen first built, and the following was taken sometime in the mid 70s, it shows a ferry operating from the base of the destroyed structure.This is the spot where American journalists Sydney Schanberg and local journalist Dith Pran among others were held after being captured shortly after the city fell on April 17th 1975 to Khmer Rouge forces. The scene was later recreated in the 1984 Roland Joffe movie “The Killing Fields,” although the movie was actually shot in neighboring Thailand.
The third and fourth show the bridge around 1991, you can see a UN ship parked on the quay and the water festival boat races going on in the foreground. It is also interesting to see warehouses and buildings on the river side of Sisowath Quay, where now there is just park. This picture and the following was taken by Serge Corrieras.
The final picture shows the newly repaired bridge in around 1993.