Phnom Penh

I got to Cambodia’s capital last evening, and other than a short walk around the block to check out the nearby temple, I just settled in to my hostel.  They have a wonderful restaurant with pretty good views, so it was quite a nice low-key night.

Today started off on a sad and somber note.  About 40 years ago the Cambodian genocide was taking place, in which millions of Cambodians were killed.  My day started with a visit to the Genocide Museum which was a school that was turned into a prison during the Khmer Regime.  I was able to meet two of the survivors of the prison which was amazing, but it was still quite an emotional morning. I was uncomfortable taking pictures there, but they want you to, so more people will be aware of these events.

Our next stop was to one of the killing fields, aptly named because here are were hundreds of thousands of people were murdered and buried in mass graves.  I couldn’t bare to take photos here, so here is just one, of some of the offerings people have brought to remember the deceased.

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I decided to tour those locations with a local, rather than using the audio guides, which made it such a more personal experience.  But at the end of the afternoon I got dropped off in the middle of the city and in the sunshine and clear skies, the morning seemed like a million years ago.

I was near the Royal Palace, however it closes for a few hours in the afternoon and of course that was when I was there.  It was much to hot and humid to wait for it to reopen, so here’s some pics of the outside only.

And that evening, when it was finally cool enough to be outside, I went for a lovely river cruise.  From the distance I could see the palace all lit up, so that was my second viewing.

Tomorrow I’m off to Siem Reap quite early in the morning to see some very old temples.