Phnom Penh take 3

Trip Start Mar 18, 2009
Trip End Jan 12, 2010

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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ok so blog entries have been few and far between recently, mostly because we've not been doing anything really worth blogging about. Our third stay in Phnom Penh before we head northeast to Laos lasted 11 days and included the 2 main sights we had saved for this last visit - The Royal Palace and The Killing Fields. We also needed 6 working day to get both our Laos and Thai visas sorted. We can't get a visa at the Laos border we're crossing at (Dom Kralor - it's too small) and we've heard that if we get a thai visa at a land border they will only give us 15 days. As it turns out the Thai visa was free (they must be desperate for tourists) but it doesn't state the duration of the visa so we might only get 15 days - or 30, 60 - we'll just have to wait and see !

Truth be told we didn't intend to stay in Phnom Penh so long, but Paul kept up his childhood tradition of visiting doctors whilst on holiday, and we spent a morning at the International SOS clinic checking out an injury from our mammoth cycle ride in Siem Reap. He was given some anti-inflammatory drugs and we decided to rest up - He's 100% recovered now and we are very relieved after a few days of considering cutting our hols very short to fly home to the NHS.

We worked out that it's not economical to send our books back to the UK, despite my idea of having a great travelers bookcase with all our lonely planets and books on everywhere we've been. Posting books is too expensive and we can't carry them, so we sold them all for about $2 each to second hand books shops (D's Books and Bohr's Books). We've spent most of the money we got from them on new books already !

The Royal Palace and silver pagoda were a bit of a let down, they are set in beautiful gardens of bougainvillea and orchids and I love the style of the roofs. The silver pagoda gets it's name from the 5000 silver floor tiles, which are mostly covered up, and the ones you can see are scratched and tatty.

The Killing Fields in Choeung Ek are mass graves of victims of the Pol Pot regime, most of the people killed here were brought from the S-21 prison (which we visited back in early June). They found the remains of 8985 people here, men, women and children, mostly clubbed to death to save bullets. There is a stupa containing thousands of skulls which adds a shock factor, but overall it's very hard to comprehend what happened here. We have read so much on the Khmer Rouge so we know that the 9000 people who died here represent just a drop in the ocean of blood that was spilt between 1975 and 1979. There is no memorial for the millions who died from starvation and curable diseases.

So we're back on track and all ready for the next few months adventures (and more interesting blog entries and photos for you!). We also had a lot of time to research the trip, along with lots of other web-based research at Huxleys British pub and Freebird bar and grill. We also watched far too much tv and are now hooked to the following: CSI (Miami&NY), Criminal Minds, 30 Rock, Are you smarter than a 5th grader (much funnier than 'Are you smarter than a 10 year old'), Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters, Prison Break, Bones, Ghost Whisperer, America's next top model and I'm a celebrity US. We watched tons of movies on HBO, Star Movies, AXN and MAX. It's going to be tough for the next few weeks, some of the places we'll stay in only have electricity for 4 hours a day !
Slideshow Report as Spam
Where I stayed
Indochine 2 Hotel
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rfbevis on

Wait till you get to Thailand - it is full of amazing buildings with elaborate roofs like that one. Did you know there is a Buddhist temple in Wimbledon?

So very pleased to hear that Paul is better. Now you can get back to having safe adventures but not too many bike rides!!

Love Ma

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