A History Lesson (Cambodia)

Cambodia Travel Blog

 › entry 7 of 43 › view all entries

I’m back at long last my bloggers. After a long break I am back to tell you my adventures. I am now in Sydney and am already planning my next adventures possibly to South America but will keep you posted. As I remember the last blog I posted was in Philippines and there has been a lot going on since then. So we will start in Cambodia my next port of call after leaving the Philippines.


So back on my own again after leaving the guys in Philippines I ventured back to Bangkok once again so that I could get to Cambodia. Got the first bus at 7am from Bangkok then finally arrived at Angkor about 9pm that night. It was a terrible journey. The border crossing was ridiculous we had to get off the bus and walk through the border for about half a mile then just had to wait for a bus to take us to another bus that would take us to our destination. The bus journey to Angkor was the worst journey of my life. We didn’t go over about 30 mphs because the roads where so bad, just massive pot holes for about 4 hours and keep having to slow down for cows to get out of the way.


Anyway we eventually made it there, not quite sure how but we did at about 10pm, so a long day of traveling. I had made friends with this girl on the bus so we decided that we where both on our own that we would do 3 day temple pass together. So we hired a tuc tuc driver for the 3 days and he dropped us wherever we wanted to go, around Angkor and all the different ruins. This is where I am really rubbish because I can only remember one of the temples we went to and that was Angkor Wot and only remember that because it is the main one. Went to all the other main ruins so if you are interested feel free to do some research. Anyway spent 3 days looking around many different ruins and temples which looking back maybe was a little bit too much but was nice to do something a little bit cultural and was really interesting. On the 3rd day we also visited the war museum which was unbelievable to hear about the history. Our guide was a guy with a wooden leg had been victim to 4 mines but still survived, had lost all his friends to the war in Cambodia and had his wife blown up by a mine. Is when you talk to people like this who have lost everything and have nothing that you realize how lucky you are. In Cambodia at one time there were more mines than there where people, and even today there are still thousands of mines that remain.


From Angkor, I got a bus down to Phnom Penh another very historic city in the south of the country. I arranged with a tuc tuc driver the next day to pick me up and take me to all the places of interest. So was picked up about 10am and my first place to visit was the killing fields. The killing fields where all the hundreds of thousands of people were buried under the Pol Pot regime. This place was unbelievable, as you walked in there was a huge glass cabinet about 30 feet high just filled with the skulls of the people who had died. As I walked around the fields it showed the mass graves where people had been buried and the different places where people where tortured. After leaving the killing fields it left me feeling like I wanted to know more about what had happened that left so many dead. My next stop was S21 the prison camp where innocent Cambodian people where kept until there time of death. I have never been somewhere so chilling in all my life. As I walked around the different rooms with descriptions of how people where tortured and made to stay in these appalling conditions. Some of the cells weren’t even long enough to lie down. In another room there where photos of the victims on boards, hundreds and hundreds of photos of women adults and children who already new there fete. After spending 2 hours walking around the prison through the many rooms and evidence of the massacre I was left feeling numb to what I had seen. I was so shocked by what I had seen in the killing fields and the prison that I actually bought a book about the pol pot regime but 2 months later sill only read about 4 pages. My next venue was the palace. This was a truly beautiful place, with gold temples and shrines everywhere you looked. But it was time that my traveling stopped going quite to plan. A few days previously I had started to feel quite unwell with a cold, sore throat and feeling a bit low. As I was walking around the temples it was really hard work to just stand up just felt so crap. I was supposed to have one more place to visit that day which was the museum but I just told my tuc tuc driver to take me back. What followed in the 2 weeks after was absolutely horrible. I thought if I just took it easy then it would just get better but no such luck. After having one more day in Cambodia in Phnom Penh I decided to head to Vietnam.
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