Phnom Penh

Trip Start Jun 28, 2011
Trip End Dec 13, 2012

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Flag of Cambodia  , Krŏng Phnum Pénh,
Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Phnom Penh

We were glad to see Phnom Penh (PP) after a shitty bus journey from Siem Reap, we got 2 punctures (literally one after the other) on the way to PP so that delayed us by about an hour and a half so didn't get into PP until after 8. We were staying at sister hostel of the place in Siem Reap, unfortunatley, the hostel in PP isn't a patch on Siem Reap but it was fine. We met a Kiwi brother&sister -- Hillary and John on the bus from Siem Reap so they came to or hostel too. We just got some food and hit the hay ealry as we were wrecked tired. We arranged to meet Hillary and John the next morning so we coud all head to the Tuol Seng (S21) Genocide Museum and to Cheouk Ek (The Killing Fields). I was feeling very apprehensive about these 2 places as i have heard such horrific stories but you have to do them as they explain and illustrate Cambodia's horrific if recent past. S21 has a former school in PP however, it was taken over by the Khmer Rouge in the mid 70's and turned into a prison where numerous Cambodians and a number of foriengers lost their lives. The acts that were carried out in S21 would absoultely turn your stomach and leave you feeling so appreciative of your own existence. What completely amazed me was the number of women and children that were killed in S21. When the Vietemense arrived in S21 about 4 years after it was estabilshed, they found the last 14 victims in a number of cells, they photographed these poor souls and now in the museum these photographs along with the furniture in the room and the blood stained floors are left in the exact sames spots that the people were found in. It reallly would make you so angry that one man (Pol Pot) could inflict such torture and death upon his fellow Cambodians. It is estimated that nearly 3 million Cambodians were killed by the Khmer Rouge reign of just under 4 years. That afternoon we headed off to The Killing Fields, this was a former Chinese Cemetry that the Khmer Rouge used to kill thousands of Cambodians during their reign. We got an Cambodian tour guide to show us around the Killing Fields and to explain the history and background, it was just so sad to hear how the people arrived to their deaths. I won't go into details but if ye want to know more just look up online.

After our heavy hearted day, we didn't get upto too much that night, we went looking for cameras and went for dinner!!

3rd day in PP, we did a little bit of shopping, we bought a new DSLR, its a cool Canon one so hopefully ye will see the difference in our pictures from now on. We were gonna purchase one in Hong Kong but we did a bit of research and it worked out cheaper to buy in Cambodia. I also bought Rich a Ukeule for his bday, its so cool so he's in the process of learning the cords so we can bang out some tunes in NZ in the campervan!!! Abi and Charlotte arrived today in PP from Siem Reap so we just met them for drinks and a catch up!!

PP is a completly different city to Siem Reap and has a different vibe also.....however, this could be due to the fact that we're back travelling on our own again as it makes a big difference when your with other people but i'm sure we'll meet more people doing the same route in Vietnam.

We are currently on a bus from PP to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam (the bus driver is a lunatic and we have spent most of the journey so far on the other side of he road as he's just over taking everything in site), we decided not to head down south in Cambodia to the beach resort of Sihanouville as the weather isn't supposed to be great down there at the mo so we're heading straight from Ho Ch Minh City, we're gonna spend 1 nite in HCMC then head off down to the Mekong Delta for a couple of nites, then back upto HCMC and up north through Vietnam. We are flying out of Hanoi o the 23rd August to the islands so we have about 18 days in Vietnam.....wish it was longer but just don't have the hoo!!! It's a great excuse to come back though in the future!!!
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