Monday, April 13, 2009
Kratie along the Mekong River for my next post, this time it's a quick whizz around Kratie's French colonial legacy and the buildings that remain, though like other provincial towns which host similar fine and sturdy structures - Battambang, Kampot and Kompong Cham for instance - few have so far been restored to their former glory. Fortunately, much of the massive bombardment from the US that rained down on eastern Cambodia missed Kratie and the French legacy lives on around the busy marketplace and along the riverfront, including the Governor's mansion complete with rutting stags and volleyball court. Information about Kratie's colonial heritage is impossible to find, so you'll have to make do with my photos, and a suggestion that someone somewhere takes the trouble to record all of these semi-neglected buildings before they disappear forever. A book on the French colonial legacy buildings dotted around the country would sit nicely on my bookshelf. As it is, the two-storey shophouses you see here are common in all of the former colonial centres, with their shuttered windows and thick columns, though few have been given the care and attention they deserve.
These two-storey shophouses are given the sunset treatment, on a road that joins the river with the market
All these buildings need is a lick of paint and it would brighten up the center of Kratie dramatically