Phnom Penh

Trip Start Jan 15, 2012
Trip End Jul 04, 2012

Flag of Cambodia  ,
Thursday, April 5, 2012

It's official - I am completely head over heels in love with Cambodia! Mainly because this city must be one of the most chilled out capitals in the world.   The city is sat next to the river and a huge promenade runs along side the water which makes you feel as though you're in LA rather than Cambodia!
It's also amazing how happy and relaxed the atmosphere is here seeing as you would expect the city to be clouded by it's awful history.  Yet somehow there is an acceptance of the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot influence and I was told that the history is kept recent and exposed to ensure that it never happens to the people of Cambodia again.  I visited the Genocide Museum first (as my Khmer history is shocking) which was definitely an experience.  The museum is set within the school that was turned into torture chambers of those who were captured and eventually killed.  Nothing has been changed, however there are photos and write ups of the things that had happened there.  It was so interesting and a really good museum.  The most eery thing was when I was walking out and there was an old guy sat by the exit and there was a sign next to him saying that he was a survivor from the torture and his book was available to buy.  It hits you straight in the face how recent the history is, but it also shocked me that he was just happily sat in the middle of the place where he nearly died. 
So next stop was to the Killing Fields where the people from the torture rooms were taken to be killed.  I wasn't really sure what to expect but we drove about 30 minutes out of town and I was totally in awe of this place.  The fields weren't fields as you'd imagine them from home...the site was surprisingly small and ran around the outside of a lake.  There was a pagoda in the middle which was to pay respect to the people that had died.  Even though the place was packed with tourists, there was no sound at all.   It wasn't a creepy silence though, it was really nice.  So I definitely learnt my fair share about Cambodian history during my stay!
The other amazing stop in Pnomh Penh was to the the Russian Market which was full of the best stuff ever and it was super cheap...needless to say I bought a bag and a massive oil painting of Buddha...just incase my bag wasn't heavy enough!
So Phnom Penh is super chilled, super lovely and one of the nicest places I've been so f
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