Monday, 15 June 2015

Phnom Penh

We started our second day in Asia racing through Ho Chi Minh City to catch a 6-hour bus ride to Phnom Penh. The ride was surprisingly comfortable, however our 2-hour wait at the Vietnamese and Cambodian boarder due to the fact that the guards were unable to pronounce any Western names led one over enthusiastic tourist to start a protest.

Once we arrived in Phnom Penh we jumped in a tuk tuk and made our way to the highly recommended Mad Monkey’s hostel. Unfortunately it was all booked up so we spent a night in a little place around the corner but ended up having dinner in the MM bar where we ran into friends from school and were introduced to the fun times and fast friendships of backpackers around the globe.

The following day we headed out to see the sights. We met up with our tuk tuk driver from the previous day and took the scenic drive out to the Killing Fields. The mass genocide sight was hauntingly beautiful with an overgrowth of willow trees and a river running through the centre of the sight. 

Earphones and record devices were handed out and we were able to explore the sight while listening to various first and second hand accounts of the experiences of those who were present during the rise of Pol Pot.

We proceeded to visit the genocide museum that was filled with photographs, documentation and artefacts that had been instrumental in horror and structure of the Pol Pot regime. 

In the afternoon we visited Wat Phnom, a beautiful temple that was surrounded by tropical gardens. This was a lovely way to end what had been an emotional, yet highly recommended and insightful day of travelling. 

  • Mad Monkeys: amazing hostel with chains in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Kampot 
  • The White Rabbit: smaller, very basic accommodation around the corner from Mad Monkeys
  • The Killing fields 
  • Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum – S21
  • Wat Phnom temple 
  • Russian markets 
  • Restaurant 63 
  •  Mad Monkey’s restaurant and bar 

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