Phnom Penh Travel Blog› entry 2 of 6 › view all entries
we arrived at phnom penh at around 3pm from our 7hour road trip from ho chi minh to phnom penh. we took the Mai Linh bus for 200,000VND which includes a free bottle of water for the entire bus ride. the 7 hour was quite a relief for me as i just slept thru the entire trip. i remember just waking up for stop overs, border crossing and looking at the window and asking my vietnamese seatmate "are we there yet?" to which he will politely asnwer "three hours more" or "two more hours" or whatever time it is.
when we arrived, we checked in at billabong hotel, as to where our friend made a reservation for us. on our first day we just tried the pool, ate early dinner, took a bath and walked around phnom penh to look for a tuktuk driver who will tour us the following day and to search for nice bars to grab a drink.
the following day, we asked our tuktuk driver, sarath, to take us to the killing fields or the Choeung Ek Execution Area, 30 mins away from our hotel. it is the largest of the many execution areas during the Khmer Rouge. its quite a vast area but considering that there are thousands of people who died there, you'll suddenly feel cramped inside. its big but i bet everything is within hearing distance.
the next we went to is the Toul Sleng Musuem. its a 4-building complex, a previous secondary school that was converted into prison during the Khmer Rouge. there are 14 graveyards there and those are the last 14 victims before the Khmer Rouge ended and are to be used as evidences for the remaining proponents of the Khmer Rouge to undergo trial after lots of efforts from the cambodian goverment and funding from UN, cambodia and other countries as well..
its feels ironic that these two places mark phnom penh and are considered to be "tourist attractions" when all Kampucheans want is to forget those years when 1/4 of their population was pained to death.
after, we looked for frizz restaurant, where we plan to eat for lunch. it was fantastic. i never thought i could eat again after the musuem visits but the look of the food just made me drool.
our afternoon itinerary includes passing by royal palace. in front is a park where you could feed and play with the pigoens flying and resting at the park. atfter was trip to the russian market and then we went back to the hotel to pack our bags for our next stop which is siem reap. =)