Danny and Anna's Round The World Trip 2005 travel blog

Monkeys fooling around at Wat Phrom

Cell of Genocide Museum

Secondary school known as S-21 , now Genocide Museum

Just some of the casualties of Khmer Rouge

Danny posing

The Royal Palace

Today was an interesting and moving day.

It started off with a walk to the Royal Palace riddled with passing tuk-tuk and moto drivers looking for business. Unfortunately we arrived to find the palace was shut until the afternoon so our plans changed and we decided to return here later.

We proceeded to the Genocide Museum, the location of Teong Sleng Secondary School which later became a torture centre for opposers of the Khmer Rouge regime. It was a hard place to look around without imagining the torture and pain thousands of people endured and we both came away unable to describe our emotions. I found it hard to take photos of mugshots of victims, cell rooms and images and so there aren't many photo's of our time here. From the outside the school looked like any other, however from within this image was quickly dashed. It was an interesting museum with lots of info surrounding not only the schools use but the Khmer Rouge in general. We were glad we visited as it is another part of history but we left feeling a little saddened and ultimately moved.

The afternoon was taken up by visiting the Royal Palace of Cambodia. The palace is not on the scale of that in Bangkok but was still a great sight and significantly cheaper to visit. The main temple of the area houses the coronation chair and many other lavish gold pieces and close by stands the Silver Pagoda which gets it's name from it's silver tiled floor. The Royal Palace was our last sight in PP.

So to sum up our time in Cambodia. Firstly the food is bland and quite poor compared to Thailand dishes, the tuk-tuk and moto drivers are even more of a presence because of the lack of public transport and Siem Reap was a poor introduction to our time here. However the positives far outweigh the negatives. Phnom Penh exceeded our expectations. We found it a vibrant, bustling place and didn't worry about our safety which we thought would be an issue. Sihanoukville was a lovely beach getaway from busy city life, with white sand and clear warm sea. The people are really cool and the kids especially are really friendly. We had two little kids following us this afternoon and when we stopped for an ice cream we got them one too. They looked really happy and that summed up the nature of the people. And finally and most importantly was Angkor and especially Angkor Wat, the most incredible sight I have ever seen.

The only other point to make is for the future of the country. We think in the next few years Cambodia is really going to take off with regards to tourism and we are glad we came now when we can remember the country as still developing with brilliant individual and collective sights and a great spirit rather than overrun with increasing numbers of tourists where they are the most important things.

Day 24 complete

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