Phnom Penh, Cambodia 29th Jan - 1st Feb

Trip Start Dec 13, 2012
Trip End Apr 02, 2014

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Flag of Cambodia  , Krŏng Phnum Pénh,
Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia, it's never resting hustle and bustle makes it hard to believe that this entire city was evacuated under the Khmer Rouge in 1975. This is one of the poorest countries in the world however the people are the warmest and friendliest we have met so far.

We spent a lot of time here learning and understanding the culture – so this blog post might be a bit full on, just warning you now.

Things we did

City Exploring

We spent a couple of days exploring the streets of the city, there is lots of dust and dirt around and many people wear masks over their faces for protection from it. The city is packed with people, cars bikes and mopeds with different markets down every street for clothes, food electronics, anything you could want really. The riverside is the main tourist spot to relax & take everything in, it’s a great place for people watching – there always seems to be something strange going on - kids playing, people selling things, people peeing in the street, monks walking by, music playing.

Killing Fields & Genocide Museum

We got a tuk-tuk for the day and drove out to visit the historic sites to learn more about the Cambodian history;

Quick Summary: In 1975, Phnom Penh fell under the control of the Khmer Rouge, a communist group lead by Pol Pot. They forced the residents into the countryside into labour camps & over almost four years an estimated number of two million (30% of the population) died by starvation, torture or execution. These events drove Cambodia back to the stone age.                 

When you arrive at the Killing Fields we were given a recorded guide to listen to while walking through the fields. This is where over 17,000 civilians were killed in brutal ways in order not to waste bullets, and then buried in mass graves.  At the centre of the fields is a grand memorial building with over 8,000 skulls inside that have been dug up and categorically ordered by sex & age.

After a few hours of soaking in all the information we drove onto the genocide museum. This was the place the civilians were taken before they were transported to the killing fields. It was an old school that had been converted into a prison. Some were held there for a day, some for longer if they were to be interrogated or tortured. There were some pretty graphic images on the walls for visitors to view – room set ups, bodies found, torture methods. 

It was a pretty full on day and a lot to take in, although we were very glad we went as it was educational and it makes you appreciate the country even more and what it’s been through so recently.

Anyone that is interested in reading into this any further:

-         Books – When Broken Glass Floats & First They Killed My Father

         Films – The Killing Fields & S21, The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine

King Norodom Sihanouk - Funeral

The former King of Cambodia who served for six decades died in October 12. Three months on we found ourselves in Phnom Penh for the first day of the 4 day long funeral, celebrating his life. Roads were closed and thousands of people gathered outside the palace, all lit up. Stalls were everywhere selling badges on a ribbon with the Kings picture on it. TV screens were lit up all over the city with images of the event, everyone’s eyes glued to it.

Food & Drink

We didn’t eat any street food as the water is not clean enough here to risk it!

Favourite Local Dish: Chicken Amok (creamy chicken curry in a banana leaf)

New Tastes: Khmer Amok Chicken & Khmer Noodle Soup

International McDonalds Meal: No McDonalds

Local Beer: Ankhor & Cambodian


Emerald Morakat Hotel - For Cambodia this was luxury at $20 a night. Very large room in an ok location. Tuk-tuk’s awaited us at the foyer every day hoping for a job – makes life easy getting around!


                Visa: $20

                Meals: $1-4

                Water: $0.50 for 1.5 litres

                Alcohol: 0.75c for a Beer, $2 for a cocktail

                Transport: $20 for a day out on the tuk-tuk

                Massage: $6 for an hour

Average Daily Spend per person: $40

Transport there for both of us: $230

Total Spend for both of us inc. Transport: $510
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G/Dad Gordon XXX on

Well done you two great pic's and comments==stay safe XXX

Joan in Perth on

Makes you appreciate the strength these people have to overcome the terror.

Great pics

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