Sunday, November 9, 2014

Phnom Penh

We flew to Phnom Penh and upon arrival we drove to Tuol Sleng Prison Museum.  This is a grim reminder of Cambodia's bloody past under Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1979.  The museum was a high school before the fighting began and then became a prison during the Khmer Rouge, used to torture their own Cambodian citizens.  Over 9000 were brought thru here and killed.  We met one survivor and I bought his book and was honored that I got a picture with him.

Some of the victims and the above picture is the survivors cell.

We were suppose to see the Royal Palace but because of the Water Festival, no one was allowed in during the days we were in Phnom Penh.  The city is normally 2 million but there was an extra 1 million here for the festival.  The first night we were there we took Tuk-tuks down to the Mekong River after dinner to see the lighted floats.  I have never in my life seen so many people.  The traffic was almost unbearable!  But the floats were beautiful.

This was all we got to see of the Royal Palace, the outside.

The next day we went to the national museum and then drove out to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek about 10 miles out of town.  At one time this was a Chinese graveyard but the Khmer Rouge turned it into a killing area for Cambodia citizens.  There is a large temple, 9 stories high, with the skulls and bones of around 9,000 victims.  They have unearthed around 80 mass graves and there are a lot still uncovered.

After lunch we went to the Russian market.  It does not look like much from outside but on the inside there was a lot of merchandise, food, souveniours.

That night we had dinner and drinks at a roof top restaurant.  Again the traffic was incredible.  We saw up to 6 on a bike but I could only capture this shot of 4.

This is my least favorite city.  Tomorrow we are off to Siem Reap.


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