It's a holiday in Cambodia...

Trip Start Jan 16, 2009
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25
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Trip End May 26, 2009


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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hey,

To carry on that last day in Siem Reap, we messed around on the internet for ages, then Declan turned back up after his Quad biking, turned out it had been good but not worth the money paid. He'd also had a bit of nightmare day as he suddenly realised he hadn't got enough room in his passport to get another visa put in, namely Laos. Where he had a flight booked to the next day. So he panicked and ran around trying to change things, in the end he was able to change his flight to Bangkok instead as you don't need a massive full page visa for that, just a stamp so he was ok as he had enough room for that. Well, we don't know that for certain as we've not yet from him since he left so he very well might be sat in a Thai prison awaiting sentencing... Sucks for him though as he's having to miss out the whole of Laos, ah well we very kindly told him we'd tell him at length all about it when we go see him and Dublin at some point later this year (Yup planning our next trip already).

We all went out for dinner that evening and found some Dutch people that Declan already knew and had a nice chilled evening.
The next day we said our tearful goodbyes to Declan again, it was a short and sweet meeting but made all the better because of the whole coincidence of the whole thing. Anyway we got on our bus to Phonm Penh, uneventful and dull and 6 hours later arrived there. To be met at the bus station by 3 million Cambodians going "tuck tuck lady, tuk tuk" Its quite horrific when all you want to do is get off the bus and get your bag and think about what you want to do. Anyway they don't leave you alone, they all surround you saying that and "where you go?""where you from" have guesthouse" with that thought that whoever shouts the loudest will get your attention. Well we had to get one of them so we chose one at random (probably the loudest one) and got to the hostel we'd pre-picked out of the book. It's called OK Guesthouse and it's nice enough (ish), not on the level of Siem Reap but we were paying $8 each there for a bed whereas here we're paying $2.50 each.

So the next day we headed straight for the Vietnamese embassy to get our visas done as they can't be done at the border for Vietnam, we got tuk tuk man to drive us round for the whole day and after we'd got our visas started we heading to the Tuol Sleng Museum which an old High School that the Khmer Rouge took over and turned into a detention/interrogation centre during the horrific years of their power '75-'78. It was chilling to say the least. There were all the mugshots that they'd taken before they shipped people off to be executed and the torture implements were all still there along with photos of corpses which is what the invading army found when they took it in 78. Something like 17000 people came through here before being shipped to the killing fields at Choeung Ek. Of course that was only a fraction of the total number of people killed during the entire time. After this we went to visit the killing fields which are 15km out of Phonm Penh, here you can see the pits where the mass graved where. Theres also a Memorial Stupa (pagoda thing) with shelves and shelves of skulls and bones in it. It was all terrible to see all these harrowing things and to think that it all happened so recently.

That afternoon we went to the Russian Market (not actually anything to do with Russia) as we had to wait till 4:30 to pick up our passports, it was more of an actual market rather than all the tourist markets we've seen so far so it was pretty good. As with all these markets though, get too close to the food section and it smells absolutely horrendous. Anyway we killed a couple of hours buying cheap clothes (as we do) and went to pick up our passports. Back at the hostel Raywood fell asleep for hours and I sat in the main area chatting to a French guy and watching Slumdog Millionaire for the 3rd time in 2 weeks (in addition to Bangkok it came on in the hostel at Siem Reap, we've also seen The Killing Fields twice in 2 days). Then Anchorman came on and I'd forgotten how funny it actually was.

Earlier today we went to see the Palace which was all in a very similar vein to the one in Bangkok, the major attraction was the massive shiney silver floor in one of them, but it got a bit destroyed by the Khmer Rouge so most of it is covered by carpet, and the bit you can see is held together by sellotape. Haha. Not a lot else to say about it really.

We then went to the massive Central Market which was, well, massive. I (EW) got my bra fixed by a Cambodian woman, theres always loads of them sat at sewing machines, so seeing as the underwire is coming out all over the place (shoddy La Senze goods) thought i'd get it done professionally. Looks a damn sight better than my attempts anyway.
After this we ate dinner at happy pizza after walking miles back home (mistake, should have got a tuk tuk). And that is it. Tomorrow morning we head for Ho Chi Minh City and a whole new country oooooo.

Bye love Emma and Emma
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