A Travellerspoint blog

In.....Cambodia

sunny 35 °C

We've been a bit slack on updating the blog recently but normal service will be resumed shortly. I got a bit carried away with the Everest journal and was determined to complete it before starting on the next bit. I will finish that episode as soon as possible.

After Nepal, we took a direct flight to Thailand. Our original plan was to go back to India first but the pre-monsoon temperatures were so extreme that we decided we needed to head somewhere else, so, Thailand it was. We will add another entry detailing our escapades there in the next few days. In the meantime...

...on Tuesday, we arrived in the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh after a short and bumpy flight from Bangkok. Our Thai visas expired on 4 July so we needed to leave and we opted for Cambodia. It's been a breath of fresh air and we love the place already. To be frank, we found Thailand unfriendly. There were exceptions, but we mostly found ourselves confined to the "tourist trail" and the Thai people who worked in the trade appeared to be tired and generally annoyed with foreigners. There is a massive language barrier as they speak very little English so it was really difficult to get "off the beaten track". It was still very beautiful (particularly Koh Tao) and we had a good time, but it was so less rewarding as we couldn't access the "real" Thailand.

Cambodia is more our kettle of fish, it being friendly, relaxed and rustic. Phnom Penh is a wonderful city.

Today we went to the Genocide Museum (sounds cheerful, doesn't it?) and The Killing Fields just outside the city. It was both heartbreaking and fascinating at the same time. We knew very little of the Khmer Rouge and its regime so it has been a valuable learning experience. Walking through The Killing Fields, we could see clothing belonging to the victims coming up through the earth and, occassionally, bone fragments. It is terrible to think of what happened to the people of this country in the not too distant past.

Our Cambodian visas are valid for one month and we would like to spend some time at the coast and see the temples at Angkor Wat. It sounds like a formality to get a visa extension of 30 days and we are already thinking we will do this so that we don't need rush around too much. Here's a few photos of what we have seen so far:

Above: A beautiful tree-lined avenue in Phnom Penh - the french influence.

Above: A beautiful tree-lined avenue in Phnom Penh - the french influence.

Above: Preparing beef jerky.

Above: Preparing beef jerky.

Above: Chanchhaya Pavillion in the grounds of the Royal Palace.

Above: Chanchhaya Pavillion in the grounds of the Royal Palace.

Above: Part of the Genocide Museum (a school that the Khmer Rouge called S-21 and which they used to imprison and torture traitors)

Above: Part of the Genocide Museum (a school that the Khmer Rouge called S-21 and which they used to imprison and torture traitors)

Above: The museum was filled with photographs of the men, women and children who were brutally murdered by the Khmer Rouge.

Above: The museum was filled with photographs of the men, women and children who were brutally murdered by the Khmer Rouge.

Above: You shouldn't put all your eggs in one basket!

Above: You shouldn't put all your eggs in one basket!

Posted by Rivercity 06:47 Archived in Cambodia

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Comments

Glad to hear from you both, we were wondering where you had decided to go to next.

Its a shame you did not find Thailand, as friendly as you had hoped but Cambodia looks and sounds nice.
Nothing much happening here , same old same old as when you left.

Sorry skype not working, but glad your both ok and there is always email.
Lots and lots of love to you both

Sharon xxxxxx

06.07.2012 by sharon

Glad things are looking on the up!

RIP to all those you've learn about. Sobering stuff.

To anyone else who reads this comment (apart from other commentators) - make some effin' noise!!

From hereon, I refuse to tell you how my brother is getting on!!!

06.07.2012 by Rich

Thought you'd abandoned us!! Agree with you to a certain extent about Thailand. My first visit I loved, the second ok but same, same and the last time I was glad to get home. Wouldn't mind Koh Samui unless you say different?
Cambodia looks and sounds interesting and look forward to your 'coastal' comments. No doubt the food Is similar to Thai?

07.07.2012 by Sue Rogers

Lovely to hear from you. Angkor Wat photos, please! It is one of those places I have ALWAYS wanted to visit since childhood. I feel that you are doing all these things on my behalf so I particularly enjoy hearing about it all

08.07.2012 by Celia

It was fantastic to 'spend' a little time in your company yesterday - it really felt as though you were there in the room with us. You both look so well and happy. This journey has been a life changing event, that's for certain. We had a great day at March House and you're being there just made it for us all. God bless you both.

08.07.2012 by Janet

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