Posts Tagged ‘Phnom Penh Slum’

Wat Broyouvong Slum

Posted: August 23, 2010 in Daily Life
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Oxford dictionary define slum as: a squalid and overcrowded urban street or district inhabited by very poor people. I do not have clear definition of this word in Cambodian context, but slums in Phnom Penh are commonly found on public lands, along railroad and rivers, on rooftop and even in temple compound which I am going to introduce here.

According to the researches by Sahmakum Teang Tnout (STT), the number of slums has declined from 569 settlements in 2003 to only 410 in 2009, as the results of Phnom Penh Municipality’s eviction plans to beautify and develop the capital and some slum upgrading projects. In the STT’s The-8-Khan-Survey-2009, it is reported that there are 400 families living in the Wat Broyouvong settlement. Basic wooden houses stand right from the temple gate reaching the wall of the temple. There are even houses built right on the corridor of the Vihara, the main temple building. I went from the backside gate and could not find my way inside the Vihear, as the corridor was walled, assumedly to prevent further spread of the community.

Wat Preah Yuvong
Monks on their ways to collect alms

Wat Preah Yuvong
The temple gate has its architectural beauty in style, which the people living there have no luxury to appreciate, but their own families to care for.

Wat Preah Yuvong
Houses lined on both sides leading to the Vihear.

An aerial image recorded by Google


When you are poor, as long as you have enough food to ease your hunger, are you going complain about hygiene? I think it is not what you care much about if you can get it cheaply. Just less than 10 minute by car or motorbike from main roads where increasing luxurious cars run, thousands of people are trying to live cheaply but unhealthily.


The above photo was taken in September 2008 at Tuol Chey slum overlooking Steng Meanchey dumping site during my visits for a small survey on children situation there. If I dun remember wrongly, the seller did not even try to keep those flies away. But I sometimes think that it still better than some food that even flies do not dare to come close due to the use of chemical substance.