Saturday 13th August, 2016
We arrived in Phnom Penh just before 6am and admired the sunrise and early movers and shakers from the tuk tuk on the way to the hostel.
As we were too early to check into Mad Monkeys, we slept on the sofas until 9.30am, had a quick shower and freshened up before digging into a fry up at the restaurant across the road.
We befriended Belle at reception and took a tuk tuk over to the National Museum which was full of interesting statues.
The Central Market isn’t really worth a visit in my opinion as it’s just full of the usual tourist tat.
The Royal Palaces were beautiful and reminded me of the ones that I’d seen in Thailand.
Loving all the attention to detail.
Our final stop of the day was Wat Penh where I was a big fan of all the metallic artwork.
Huge candles inside the temple.
We were dropped back at the hostel by 5.30pm and checked in.
The beds in our dorm were really spacious!
As the restaurant downstairs mainly served Western food, I got a little overexcited when I saw bangers and mash on the menu.
I know it doesn’t look amazing but it was delicious!
After dinner, Em and I popped up to the bar on the top floor of the hostel for a glass of free punch before crashing by 10.30pm.
Sunday 14th August
On our second day, we visited the Cheong Ek Genocidal Centre (Killing Fields), where we were given audio tapes to walk around the sign-posted areas to learn about the mass genocide that killed over a million Cambodians during the brutal Khmer Rouge Regime.
This room was filled with the skulls of those who had died with labels to tell you how they were killed, which was absolutely devastating.
Next up, we visited the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21 Museum).
Although this used to be a high school that sat on a dusty road on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, the Khmer Rouge renamed it S-21 and turned it into a torture, interrogation and execution centre.
Of the 14,000 people known to have entered, only seven survived.
Kind words from visitors.
The Khmer Rouge carefully transcribed the prisoners’ interrogations and photographed the vast majority of inmates.
Although the most gruesome images to come out of Cambodia were those of the mass graves, the most haunting were the portraits taken by the Khmer Rouge at S-21.
There are also interrogation rooms with steel bed frames with shackles at each end and photographs of the victims.
Lots of information on survivors of the Khmer Rouge.
After a very sombre day, we had a late lunch and planned our trip to Vietnam.
For dinner, we had Indian food by the river and a cheeky beverage at the Foreign Correspondents Club.
We had a boogy in Pontoon , which we were pretty sure was full of prostitutues, before moving onto Love Bar. That actually sounds like it would be full of prostitutes but it was actually just a popular backpacker haunt that was really fun!
See you soon for adventures in Vietnam 😉