48 hours in PP

Trip Start Nov 26, 2007
1
19
88
Trip End Nov 26, 2008


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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

We made it back to Phnom Pen and stayed for a few days sightseeing whilst waiting for our Visas for Lao to be processed. We visited the S21 prison where in the late 70s educated or rich cambodians were sent by Pol Pot to be 'reeducated' before being taken to the Killing Fields 15km outside town to be executed. Words really can not describe how we felt. We cant say we were glad we went but you have to go. 40% of the population were killed by the kymer rouge and when the prison guards knew too much they also ended up in the prison. Out of the 2 million prisoners 7 survived. It truely was horrific and crazy to think this happened within our life time. Our guide remembered being split up from her family and working all hours of the day in the fields, farming - she was ten years old. We also went to the killing fields, where everybody ended up - there were over 100 mass graves there and all of this was kept a secret. Across the country there were over 100 different prisons and killing fields to go with them. It really made us look at the cambodians in a different light - anyone over our age has lived through this. Amazing is the wrong word....but the only one I can think of. These people are so kind and friendly and always smiling.
Needless to say we needed some retail therapy after seeing these sights and we went to the russian market in search of deep fried insects and frogs legs - we couldnt find them but did see live and dead chickens sat side by side next to each other - one plucked the other not and other crazy sights. Our noodles contained some kind of intestine (a bit squidgy but not bad). Phnom Pen is a lovely city (we should know we walked most of it!) but it was time to explore the countryside.

* Sorry about the lack of photographic evidence, we can not access a whole memory card full of photos - its damaged (maybe when tom was drunk in the sea?!?) and they wont open anymore. Im saving it for more knowledgable computer geeks in england...you know who you are!*
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