Photo Hunt #32: Ruin(ed)

These are just some of the ghost villas of Kep. Kep, in its heydays, was once a favourite holiday town of the French colonial masters and the Cambodian elites.

Kep villa ruins 1

Kep villa ruins 2

The villas fell into ruin during the 70s when the Khmer Rouge took over and systematically burned and destroyed all the villas and murdered its occupants. This is probably what the Khmer Rouge meant when they declared Year Zero. At present, some of the villas are occupied but most are abandoned and lying in ruins. Vegetation has set in covering the remnants but one can still see the grandiose details of the villas alongside bullet holes and burn marks. The villas are but mere reminders of the golden days of Kep, and, ironically, of the cruelty of the Khmer Rouge regime that ravaged the entire country.

The first time I visited Kep was in 2002 and the sight of these decaying villas gave me shivers. To me, Kep, then, had a ghost-town feel to it. These days, however, Kep is undergoing a massive transformation. The once thick jungle is now slowly vanishing to give way to numerous constructions (hotels, bars, restaurants); villas being snapped up by local and foreign businessmen to refurbish into tourist accommodations, all in the name of “touristic revival”.

Oh, how I hate to see Kep transform into something like Sihanoukville.

P.S. Some scenes of the movie, City of Ghosts, which starred Matt Dillon, James Caan, and Gerard Depardieu, was shot in Kep.

27 thoughts on “Photo Hunt #32: Ruin(ed)

  1. The Philippines is an archipelago comprising 7,107 islands with a total land area of 300,000 km². The 11 largest islands contain 94% of the total land area. The largest of these islands is Luzon at about 105,000 km². The next largest island is Mindanao at about 95,000 km². The archipelago is around 800 km from the Asian mainland and is located between Taiwan and Borneo.

    The islands are divided into three groups: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The Luzon islands include Luzon itself, Mindoro, Marinduque, Masbate and Batanes Islands,Palawan,. The Visayas is the group of islands in the central Philippines, the largest of which are: Panay, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte and Samar. The Mindanao islands include Mindanao itself, plus the Sulu Archipelago, composed primarily of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.

    Hindi sa Luzon and Bikol 🙂

  2. Thanks, you guys. It’s great to read your comments.

    Redlan, ano nga wala ga-kupas man? Daw bulawan lang! *lol* Seriously, you are right, everyone and everything is undergoing constant change. Even American voted for change! Salamat sa pagbisita.

    June, you are so right.

    And thanks for returning the visit, too, Yen 🙂

    Hey, Pat, glad you liked it!

    Thanks, YTSL.

  3. Hello, earthlinggorgeous. Thanks for dropping by and for supplying me with that info. Firstly, I have no intention of agitating you over a petty matter. I don’t really care if that is what you believe in. However, with me being a Bikolana myself, it is quite disconcerting having someone say that Bikol (or Bicol) is part of the Visayas island (or region as you say), when in fact it is in the Luzon island. Bikol is and never a part of the Visayas.

  4. Oist, the treatment of the photos are astoundingly good. Thanks for the write-ups…na inform pod ko about Kep- actually na intriga ko sa transformation (as you mentioned) ining ghost town.

  5. Tanchi, ikaw din, kipirap!! *lol*

    Thanks, Carver. And you, too.

    Mrs Mecomber, sad indeed. I can still picture it in my mind. I can only imagine the horror that transpired!

  6. Jientje, if only… then the Khmer Rouge tribunal will have more than enough and strong evidences to bring justice to all the victims of the killer KRs.

    Korek ka dyan, SpoolArtist! In a few year’s time, the once quiet coastal town of Kep will be transformed into sybaritic Sihanoukville. Go there as soon as you can!

    Hello Anni. Thanks for dropping by.

  7. Zam, in the name of development kuno they shall build, build and build to attract tourists and economic progress sa mga tawo ngadto. But what’s happening is that not only the environment is destroyed, the local people are forced to sell off their lands to unscrupulous businessmen. So this quiet and charming coastal town will be no more. Soon.

  8. Hindi sa Luzon and Bikol 🙂

    Totoo yan kasi ang Bikol nasa Luzon. hahaha

    okay na sana ang lecture mo, bigla mong siningitan nang nakakayanig na maling impormasyon.

    Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao are the main island groupings of the PHilippine Archipelago.

    There are seventeen regions if you care to look at wikipedia.

    One of them is Bicol Region which includes Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon.

    I am from Camarines Sur.

  9. Ma maison est en Sorsogon mais j’avais a l’ecole de Legazpi Albay naman hahahaha, donc je suis uragon!

    Teka, walang awayan, mali ung info about Bicol being part of Visayas. We are one region in itself at nasa Luzon kami.

    Another one, Masbate, although majority speaks Cebuano, is actually a province that is grouped with Bicol Region. Ayun.

    Minemorize ko na yan mula nung lumabas ako sa mundo kasi that’s one question na itatanong saken when i join Missed Universe. hahaha

    World Peace! Walang kalmutan ever!

  10. Huh?!? Di ko alam kung kanino directed ang comment ni Cathy. Pero I am one with you, Cathy, na nasa Luzon ang Bikol (o Bicol, accdg to Earthlinggorgeous). Ang punto ko is ang Bikol ay hindi kailanman naging parte ng Visayas. Sayang nga kasi inalis niya ang comment ko na naglalaman ng impormasyon na galing sa wikipedia.

    Naaliw talaga ako sa kanya. Cathy, Bikolana din ako.

    Reynz, kalmutan? Sino nagkalmutan? Wahahahahaha.

  11. I hope that at least a few of these ruins are preserved as a reminder of what has and can happen. Those who fail to learn form history are destined to repeat it after all.

    Besides, they make wonderful photo subjects!

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