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Last stop in Cambodia

Phnom Penh

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Our last stop in Cambodia is Phnom Penh, the capital. We had heard mixed reviews about it, but overall we thought it was a good city (if a little frayed around the edges). Its striving to be like other big Asian cities, but not quite there yet. Very busy, dirty (I saw numerous rats), but is then scattered with lovely modern coffee shops and posh French restaurants.

We decided to visit the S-21 prison, the Khmer Rouge torture house that they converted from a school. Its right in the centre of the city and looks like a normal school from the outside, but when you go inside it's quite different. I won't write about all the grim details about the numbers that died, torture techniques, living conditions...it was all shockingly disgusting and there's loads of information on the internet about it. But what moved me the most were the photographed faces of hundreds of men, women, children and babies that were there at some point in the 70s that covered the walls of the prison. I'm sure none of them survived. I'm afraid we decided not to visit the Killing Fields from Phnom Penh because we'd seen the Killing Caves and prison and had an appreciation of the history of Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge.

We had a couple of good food stops. One was a breakfast treat at a posh French restaurant (we mainly went in because we needed rescuing from the heat and they had air-con). Because we'd spent more than usual on breakfast we needed a cheap tea and had a fab cheap eat of noodles and fried tofu with a few beers all for the cost of £3...it was surprisingly tasty.

We did the usual tourist stops of the city;a walk along the river, seeing the palace and pagoda, markets and shops; and then as the monsoon rain hit we went for cover and watched some Cambodian boxing. It was free to watch at a TV studio set in a basketball stadium and consisted of roughly 5 fights with the locals cheering a corner. It was good,but we preferred watching Thai boxing in Bangkok with the crazy locals shouting their bets.

Anyway, next stop Vietnam.

Posted by bloorsontour 06:11 Archived in Cambodia

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