One of the easiest border crossings i’ve done very straight forward and very relaxed not at all like our last Laos experience. Joes first comment about Cambodia was “I don’t think i’ve ever been anywhere so flat, this place is like a pool table”. Must be missing Snowdonia. Our first stop is Phnom Penh we’ve booked a private room for £4 so it should be interesting and we’re going to have a busy 2 days here as there is a lot we want to do and see. First impressions of Phnom Penh are all good. It is clear to see that the country is a lot poorer than Vietnam and there are more children walking round with no shoes on trying to sell you anything they’ve got in their hands, we also saw some local childer washing in the fountain. They all seem happy though and the locals don’t seem to stop smiling.
We arrived at the Hostel and had to wait in the bar for about 3 hours as there seemed to be some kind of problem with the plumbing in our room. We decided it best not to ask questions and ordered some beers. I ploughed on with my book and Joe even read half a book today i’m quite impressed! That was when I also took the opportunity to sort out all these blog posts and by the time I post this (fingers crossed) i’ll be back up to date yey!! By the time we saw the room we were starving and sweaty so we ordered food downstairs before heading up for an early night. The room contains a bed and not much else, the wallpaper is missing and some guests appear to have taken it upon themselves to draw abstract flowers on the otherwise blank walls. But oh well £4 and we only have to sleep here… the mattress is squishy and theres a fan so fingers crossed for a good night sleep!
I don’t think either of us got a good sleep if I’m honest Joe is still sleeping (or trying to be at 9.00am) and i’m catching up with blogs and watching Holby City #homecomforts. We have a busy day planned today and we still need to make arrangements for onward travel tomorrow! I’ll include details later but first to wake Joe up Hmmm…
With Joe successfully woken up we headed downstairs and got some breakfast, I enjoyed some scrabbled egg on toast a new favourite of mine and Joe had a chicken sandwich The plan for today was to go to one of the killing fields that is now a monument and then to head to S21 – the genocide museum. We got talking to a Canadian couple who had similar plans and decided that we’d all share a tuk tuk to cut down on costs a guy right outside the hostel offered us a pretty good price and after a bit of a chat we headed off. It took ages to get there and the roads in Cambodia are questionable but eventually we arrived, paid our entrance fees and started our tour. I’ll include some pictures in a minute of some of the things we saw but just be warned some people might find them upsetting I know we surely did. What makes the experience even more harrowing is that it really wasn’t that long ago.
After this we stopped for some lunch and a much needed beer break, its a lot of information to take in and i’m glad we had a bit of a rest before going to the museum, the horrific stories of survivors coupled with the stifling heat is enough to make anyone feel sick. S21 itself is a prison that was adapted out of a school once the local people were imprisoned or forced out of their city. It is pretty much exactly how it was when prisoners were housed there and walking through is shocking, you can imagine the horror people faced living in the shocking conditions and the floors and walls are spattered with blood. There are plenty of chairs for people to sit and i’m thankful as again it is a harrowing experience. At the end of the museum you get to meet a survivor who is in his 80’s and to think of everything he went through really does open your eyes a lot. Again i’ll include some photos below which some people may find upsetting. We all left very tired but very well informed after a long day.
When we got back to the hotel we all sat together outside to reflect on what we’d seen and went on to have a couple of drinks and lighten the mood by talking about work of all things. We ate dinner there which was nice but Joes never came so he opted for a packet of Oreos instead. We met a guy from Wolverhampton who had lived in Phnom Penh for 3 years he took us all for a walk and showed us some of the street art that a couple of local artists had done. I’ll leave you with that!
Joe booked us an early bus to Kampot the next morning so we soon retired to our – not so – comfy bed. At this point i’ll add the only reason we’re going to Kampot is because Joe has seen a video of a waterslide that he wants to go on and that particular waterslide is at a hostel thats fully booked tomorrow. So we’ll spend two nights in Kampot! But it looks very scenic and chilled and we’ve both had enough of the city by now so i’m quite excited.
New Years Resolution update:
10.02.2017 (Week 6 of challenge) Books Read:
- A Dance With Dragons 1: Dreams And Dust – George R. R. Martin
- A Dance With Dragons 2: After The Feast – George R. R. Martin
- Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
- Comfort food – Kitty Thomas
- Mark One – John Hindmarsh (must read sequel at some point)
- Girl Undone – Marla Madison
- The Sick House – Ambrose Ibsen
Status: ONE WEEK AHEAD!!