Phnom Penh - Genocide, Russian Markets, and Relaxing
Phnom Penh Travel Blog› entry 12 of 26 › view all entries
July 31st, 2008 – by: Zymosis
We decided to sleep in the backpacker area next to Boeng Kak Lake, half a kilo from the utter chaos of downtown. We ended up at a place called the Green Lake Guesthouse, renting a nice little bungalow for $7/night. The entire guesthouse is literally over the water. This place lives up to its name, in more than one way. The guesthouse had a great little deck area over the water, pretty good food, and an enviable movie collection. Every night, pretty much all of the guests meandered out to the deck to drink a cold beer, watch a movie, and roll a spliff. Very chill atmosphere, if you're ever in the area.
The first day we decided to go to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, also known as S-21. When Pol Pot invaded Phnom Penh, first the people celebrated in the streets.
The second day Mike took off for Bangkok to fly home, and I took a solo tuk-tuk out to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. The killing fields lose their power and context unless you've been to the museum first. Walking around in the rain, the countless mass grave pits serve as a window to the utter terror that can be inflicted by humanity. In the center lies a large monument filled 25 feet high with skulls from the site.
After the Killing Fields I headed to the Russian Market in downtown. This place puts all Mexican markets I've visited to shame. It's a tight maze of vendors and food stalls, ranging from silk to trinkets to tools to gongs. And everything is so cheap if you know how to bargain. Silk scarves and T-shirts were less than $2 each. Some of you, you'll see. I grabbed lunch at one of the food stalls, where I had [what might have been] pork and [what might have been] liver. I have no idea what the skewers were, but they were damn tasty. After two or three hours in the market, I headed back to the guesthouse and got ready to head to Vietnam.
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