Takeo, the commercial centre of once-thriving commercial region south of Phnom Penh, is virtually surrounded by water -- a lake and low-lying paddy fields.
SV Lake north-east perimeter of Takeo
SV PAN low-lying field with water patches
GV Market in Takeo
Tracking shot. Past deserted houses in Takeo
Ditto past cyclo???y Highway Two running north to Chambak
GV Bus with troops & civilians crosses damaged bridge
Tracking shot. Through Chambak with abandoned houses
GV Damaged buildings
GV Main street & wrecked phone booth in F/G
GV Stallholders in deserted market
Initials SGM/1130 SGM/1204
This film has natural sound throughout
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Takeo, the commercial centre of once-thriving commercial region south of Phnom Penh, is virtually surrounded by water -- a lake and low-lying paddy fields. But now, it's an island of another kind. It's in the middle of an area used by Communist forces for sanctuaries, food collecting and infiltration within the Khmer Republic and to South Vietnam.
Takeo once had a population of 12,000; now it's down to 4,000 people. Most of those in the town are from the surrounding countryside and the town's own population has largely fled.
Largo areas of land along Highway Two -- the link with Takeo and Phnom Penh -- lie unused and whole villages are deserted, giving the Communist an uninterrupted run into South Vietnam.
Halfway between Takeo and Phnom Penh lies Chambak which -- apart from little more than a dozen people -- is a ghost town. It was battered in earlier fighting and only the school building is intact. And only two stallholders remain in the once-busy market.
SYNOPSIS: It's this lake that helps make the town of Takeo -- south of Phnom Penh -- something of an inland island. The town is also surrounded by paddy fields which add to its isolation. But now, it's an island of another kind. The town is in the middle of an area used by Communist forces for sanctuaries, food collecting and infiltration within the Khmer Republic and into South Vietnam. That Communist presence has had a profound impression on Takeo. Before the war, its population as a thriving market town was twelve thousand. Now, it's down to four thousand.
Most of Takeo's people have fled and those there are largely from the countryside. The residential section is abandoned.
Along Highway Two, which links Takeo with the capital great areas of land lie unused. Whole villages have been deserted, giving the Communist an uninterrupted run towards the border towards neighbouring South Vietnam.
Halfway between Takeo and Phnom Penh on Highway Two lies the town of Chambak. Apart from only about a dozen people, it's a ghost town.
The town was hit badly in earlier fighting and only the school building remains intact.
And only two hardy stallholders remain in the once-thriving market place.