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If Statues Could Talk: The Treellion Park Dolphins

Tales of the City: urban legends come up just with a stroll around Koh Pich park.

by Living Cambodia Team, 28 Jun. 2023

Twenty years ago, Phnom Penh bustling streets were thrown into chaos when we suddenly came out. Imagine: a shoal of dozens of sea dolphins smack in the city center! It was a scene straight out of a fantasy novel - we, lovely creatures, leaping and splashing amidst the honking cars and startled pedestrians, our joyous clicks and whistles echoing through the air.

At first, the humans of Phnom Penh were stunned and amazed. They had never seen anything like this before! But as we remained in the city for days, people began to grow concerned. How had we made it so far inland? Were we sick, or injured? What would happen to us if they couldn't make it back to the sea? Were we direct from the sea, or from the vast expanses of the Mighty Mekong River, up there near Stung Treng and Kratie? (Disclaimer: we did actually see one or two Mekong Giant Sting Rays, humans say they're the biggest freshwater fish ever. OK, but size is one thing, niftiness another, wink).

Then, something wondrous - and frankly a bit scary - happened to us. One by one, we began to turn to stone. At first, people feared that we had been literally petrified by some sort of virus or disease. Humans always want to find a 'why' and a 'how' to everything... As time passed, it became clear that all this was far in fact magical, thus inexplicable.

Phnom Penhers were awestruck by the transformation. They marveled at the beautiful intricacy of our 'stoned' selves, our supple bodies captured in mid-leap. It was decided that we would be preserved and put on display in the Koh Pich park dedicated to love, now Treellion Park - a tribute to the mysterious forces of nature and to the power of love.

For years, we have remained a beloved attraction in Phnom Penh. We became a symbol of the city's resilience and wonder, a reminder that anything is possible in this strange, magical world we all live in. And to the day, people still come from all over the world to see the incredible stone dolphins of Treellion Park, and to marvel at the mysteries of the universe. We miss the ocean, for sure, but the humans seem content and enamored of us.

Scattered around the park are some 175 statues added to the Bayon-like sculpture by state sculptor Chantha (author of King Norodom Sihanouk's Memorial bronze statue) and RUFA students after the Cambodian government decided to create a recreative park in Koh Pich.

With their unique mix of lyrical celebration of love, kitschy depiction of real and imaginary animals, and pure fantasy, the statues are being redecorated by art students and street art creators. And for now, a multicolored festive dinosaur flanked with two serene lions welcome you at the entrance.

Take a walk at Treellion Park, let your imagination get caught by its many statues and send us your story!

នៅជុំវិញឧទ្យានមានចម្លាក់ប្រមាណ ១៧៥ រូប ត្រូវបានដាក់បន្ថែមទៀតទៅ ក្រៅពីរូបចម្លាក់ដែលដូចទៅនឹងប្រាសាទបាយ័ន ដោយជាងចម្លាក់របស់រដ្ឋ លោក ចន្ថា ដែលជាអ្នកបង្កើតរូបសំណាក់សំរិទ្ធរបស់ព្រះបាទនរោត្តមសីហនុ បន្ទាប់ពីរដ្ឋាភិបាលកម្ពុជាបានសម្រេចបង្កើតសួនកម្សាន្តនៅក្នុងទីក្រុងកោះពេជ្រ។

ការរួមបញ្ចូលគ្នាយ៉ាងពិសេស នៃការប្រារព្ធសេចក្តីស្រឡាញ់ ការពណ៌នាអំពីសត្វពិត និងដោយការស្រមើស្រមៃ រូបចម្លាក់ទាំងនេះកំពុងត្រូវបានតុបតែងលម្អឡើងវិញ ដោយនិស្សិតសិល្បៈ និងសិល្បៈករគំនូរតាមទីសាធារណៈជាច្រើននាក់។ បច្ចុប្បន្នកាល មានដាយណូស័រចម្រុះពណ៌ អមដោយសត្វតោដ៏អង់អាចពីរក្បាល កំពុងរង់ចាំស្វាគមន៍លោកអ្នកនៅខាងមុខច្រកចូល។

ដើរកម្សាន្តនៅក្នុង Treellion Park ហើយបណ្ដោយឲ្យការស្រមើលស្រមៃរបស់លោកអ្នករសាត់អណ្ដែតតាមរូបចម្អាក់ទាំងនេះ បន្ទាប់មកចែករំលែករឿងទាំងនោះមកកាន់យើង!