Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 2009.

Until recently, Boeung Kak – an area centrally located in the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh – was covered by the largest urban lake. Residential areas, businesses, restaurants, hotels, embassies and other local businesses surrounded the lake. It was a backpackers’ favourite spot for its plentitude of hostels with porches overlooking the lake 

In 2007 the Cambodian government made an agreement to lease the land to a corporation. This resulted in the filling of the lake with sand in order for the company to build condominiums and other complexes on the land. The change of the lake and the area surrounding the lake has had major social and environmental impact. Several non-governmental organizations in Cambodia as well as international actors have protested the destruction of Boeung Kak.

As of 27 February 2012 Boeung Kak Lake is gone being entirely filled with sand.


The featured photo was nominated to Grand Press Photo Contest 2009.