Phnom Penh Travel Blog› entry 7 of 20 › view all entries
We were definately ready to leave Battambang by the time we got on the bus to Phnom Pehn. We set off early in the morning, and after changing buses because our air con broke we were on our way. The road wasn't that bad, the strange thing was that when you actually looked at the road it looked quite well surfaced but it felt like the surface of mars! Six laborious hours later (enduring both Khmer Karioke and Khmer rap music) we arrived in Phnom Penh. It look us a while to find our guesthouse, but unforntunately it wasn't worth the effort. There were no sheets on the bed and the power shower and the lightbulb in the bathroom were connected together, not that safe! There was also an unforntunate incident involving the bathroom door which meant we had to move rooms (I won't go into details!).
So far we have been shopping amongst other things. As I am on holiday and my normal rules of fashion don't apply, I have purchased some short shorts. We went clubbing on Monday night to the Heart of Darkness - there was so much security there there was not a chance of anything going wrong, despite the warnings that Lonely Planet gives you.
On a more sombre note we have also visted the Killing Fields, where a vast majority of those who didn't fit in with Pol Pot's ideas were executed and tortured - the bodies were dumped in mass graves. The death toll included foreigners, women and young children. In the centre of the fields there is a large monument filled with skulls, bones and items and clothing. Not for the faint hearted. The worst bit was reading about a tree where they used beat children infront of their parents. One piece of information described the torturers as humans with demon's hearts, I would like to think that this is true but cruetly on this scale is a wholly human trait. After that we went to the infamous Tol Sleng Musuem - the S-21 prison where thousands of Cambodian were executed. The prison has not been santised at all - there are bloody footprints visible on some of the walls, and blood on the ceilings of the cells. A very disturbing sight. There are also mug shots taken of the prisoners before and sometimes after they died. It is heart-breaking to see the pictures of very young children along side pictures of old people and those in their twenties. The Khmer Rouge is still recent history for Cambodian - if you see a Cambodian above the age of thirty or in their late twenties, they lived through those nightmarish times.
To cheer ourselves up we went to the Grand Palace today, which was stunning but a lot of it was closed off and the national musuem.
Apologies for the atrocious spelling, there is no spell check and this keyboard is a bit rubbish!