Phnom Penh

From Sihanoukville we took the bus to Phnom Penh, only to realize later that we were supposed to stop first at Kampot according to our itinerary. What a shame, as we’ve heard Kampot is a relaxed, friendly, attractive town. Unlike Phnom Penh!  Busy, dirty, noisy, terrible traffic and unfriendly locals is what we found. They weren’t all unfriendly, mainly just those involved in tourism. The tuk tuk drivers were pushy, annoying and sometimes aggressive. One particular run in with a tuk tuk driver marred our visit and probably skewed our perception of Phnom Phen. Still there are some sites to see and we enjoyed our couple of days there. A couple of days is enough.

We visited the national museum. No photos allowed, which is unfortunate as it is loaded with armless statues in the style of Venus De Milo, not unlike what we found in the Bangkok museum. The central square garden is a great place to relax, isolated from the noise and traffic by the surrounding museum building.

The S-21 prison and killing fields are two sites related to the brutality and genocide of the Khmer Rouge regime. The prison is where people were held and tortured and the killing fields is where they were slaughtered and buried. The prison is now a museum and the killing fields is the site of the national monument where the bones of some of the victims have been stored. There’s plenty of information out there so no need to go into detail about how horrible and devastating the regime was.

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