Tuesday, January 8, 2013

January 7th 1979

Psah Thmei in December 1978 by Elizabeth Becker

PAVN/KUFNS troops entering Phnom Penh

PAVN/KUFNS troops entering Phnom Penh
Troops in front of the Royal Palace

A deserted street near O'Russei Market with abandoned Vespas

A deserted Charles de Gaulle Boulevard

Near Psah Thmei

Abandoned cars near Tuol Kok Antennae

Children found near Tuol Sleng

Children found near Tuol Sleng

Citizens returning to the city

Citizens waiting to enter the city. At first the new government tried to control entry.

After numerous incursions and massacres by Pol Pot's troops inside the Vietnamese border in 1977 and 1978 the Vietnam People's Army (PAVN) , along with the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation (KUFNS) launched their invasion of Democratic Kampuchea on December 25th 1978. They encountered little resistance, and managed to liberate Phnom Penh on 7th January 1979. 


George Moore said...

Great post, and thanks to Elizabeth Becker for the pictures. A point of interest though: the second picture from the bottom, labeled "Citizens returning to the city", where is that crossroads place and what does it look like today? Anyone know?

George Moore said...

For an idea about what happened in France in the spring of 1979, see a photocopy of the old flyer on


Norodom Ranariddh was a professor in Aix-en-Provence at that time. Were his people behind such meetings?

phnompenhpast said...

Hi George, great to hear from you, I was wondering when I would since the demise of TT. I haven't been able to figure out where that picture was taken, it was just labelled as I labelled it. It is an unusual shaped corner as most streets in the capital have right angled corners rather than that one which is more diagonal.It does look similar to pictures of what was The Grand Rue in the Chinese quarter of town, now Sisowath Quay. Anyway I appreciate the interest, keep in touch, B.

George Moore said...


It is an unusual shaped corner as most streets in the capital have right angled corners rather than that one which is more diagonal.


Looking at that picture again, and at the stream of people coming up the road on the right, I am going to suggest that the people are coming up Hwy 4, just east of Pochentong. Coming from downtown, that crossroads spot is at the end of Kampuchea Krom, right across the street from what is now the Bunthan Shopping Center. Also, note the person pushing the cart at the forefront of the picture. Note the wheels on that cart. They are old train wheels. The rail line is still today just to the north of that old crossroads spot.

Speaking of pictures, look again at the 5th picture from the top, labeled "A deserted street near O'Russei Market with abandoned Vespas". Where is that spot? It was taken standing in front of what is today's Capitol Restaurant, looking towards Monivong Blvd.

Thanks again for uploading these pictures. Yes, it is too bad about the Thorn Tree forum, but it was a perfect moment for me to move on anyway. I deleted my old profile and am now leaving for Hawaii. See you in #1 Phnom Penh!

phnompenhpast said...

I spent quite a while driving around O'Russei at Khmer New Year 2008 looking for that spot but couldn't find it, I'll have to have another look at the spot you mentioned, cheers.