09.01.2012 - 14.01.2012 28 °C
We arrived from a wicked time in Siem Reap at around 6am in the morning following an overnight bus which took around 13 hours. We jumped into a waiting tuk tuk and headed to find our hotel. To say we were both tired would be an understatement and the change from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh was massive. Phnom Penh is the largest city and also the capital city of Cambodia and the complete opposite to the previous 4 days. The most obvious differences were the motobikes everywhere, the sheer amount of people, the size of the city and how unkept the city appeared in areas. We didn't enjoy our first day and it was topped off by me dragging Gem on nearly an hours walk to see the olympic stadium to find an overgrown concrete mess. We also visited the national museum which was slightly better than the Olympic stadium.
The following day we visited two sites which form a big part of Cambodia's history, the first was the killingfields and the second was S21 (genocide museum). It was a day with very strange feelings more so as we both were unaware of the events that took place between 1975 - 1979. During the regime of the khmer rouge over 3 million of the 8 million population were murdered or died, with over 20 thousand sites discovered of mass graves throughout the country. What really struck me was thinking that imagine one in every 3 people you know being killed. We visited the largest mass grave discovered called Choeung Ek which has a commemortive stupa which holds over 7,000 of the skulls discovered. I was reluctant to take these photos and add them to the blog but throughout the visit the message is to show what happened to prevent it happening again.
The journey from Phnom Penh was around 5 hours and we were both looking forward to getting back to the beach life and out of the city. When we arrived we wasn't disappointed, the towns vibe was great with the beach aligned with bamboo huts selling drinks, food from the BBQ and playing music. We didn't do a lot there other than chilling out and enjoyed the sun and sand.
If we could sum up our visit to Phnom Penh & Sihanoukville in 5 or so words/statements.
1) hectic (phnom penh)
2) nice clean beach
3) crazy traffic
4) events of the killing fields makes you appreciate life
5) would go back to Sihanoukville but not Phnom Penh
Random sights/things in Phnom Penh & Sihanoukville.
1) wearing our surgeons mask