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.


trent said...

i thought lon nol blew up the bridge to stop the advance of the khmer rouge

phnompenhpast said...

I had heard that story before but I'm not sure if there's any truth in it.

phnompenhpast said...

Thanks for the contribution anyway, I dis write "apparently" as there seems to be some controversy about this, some people claim it was Khmer Rouge, others say North Vietnamese troops, one observer said he saw bodies of Vietnamese soldiers at the Old Stadium as they managed to shoot a few. If you can find any source for the Lon Nol story I'd welcome it.

trent said...

you seem to be right i couldn’t find any more info on lon nols story
the guy from sacrava toons seems to confirm the nva story
cheers keep up the good work

ratana said...

I am archivist at the Bophana Center. Can i know whether i can get the copy of these pictures to put in our database?