Before making our way to Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor, we headed to Phnom Penh. This capital city is not to be missed as it is alive with both history and night life!
As, Phnom Penh has only recovered from the Khmer Rouge reign (1975-79) in the past decade, we visited the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum to pay respect to the thousands of victims who were held captive, often tortured and killed for ‘confessions’ by the Khmer Rouge. This once high school, then turned prison and now museum provided a confronting experience, seeing photos of dead victims chained to their steel beds by their feet. I think the hardest thing was realising that these atrocities occurred less than 40 years ago. We also took a motorbike to the Killing Fields-mass grave and burial grounds where the Khmer Rouge killed thousands of victims. Again, another rather sombre afternoon out, but important to understand the history of this country.
On a happier note, we visited numerous Wats, watched monks hitch a ride on a motorbike, got lost in the Russian Markets while trying to buy silk and enjoyed a 2 hour Khmer massage at U & Me Spa.
Another event within itself that we thoroughly enjoyed was taking a ride through the mayhem that is the traffic of Phnom Penh. Although we have both travelled though Asia before, we still marvel at the ducking, weaving and beeping that goes on all hours of the day-it’s always good fun!
Although we don’t like big cities too much, Phnom Penh provided us with so many contrasting experiences it was hard not to enjoy our stay here.