Housing Project near Russian Embassy
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Khmer Architecture Tour: Scratching Beneath Phnom Penh's Surface
The last stop on our Sunday morning Khmer Architecture Tour (check them out at www.ka-tours.org) was this apartment block. One of the only high rise housing projects of its kind in a city full of villas and shophouses, it was built in the late 1960's and then deserted in 1975 as the Khmer Rouge emptied the capital city. Originally designed to house around 475 families, over 7000 people are believed to occupy its four floors now. All essentially squatters, they live there rent free as no title records survived to prove who owned the flats before the war. We walked through the dark hallways past curious, friendly tenants and up onto the concrete roof terrace. It was a small glimpse into one side of life in this city that most tourists don't have the opportunity to witness.
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