Our last stop in Cambodia
Our last stop in Cambodia was Phnom Penh and it still kept the same nice feeling as in the rest of the country: nice people, always smiling and ready to help, good level of English, tasty food… We spent 5 days there, out of which 1 was fully dedicated to Bear’s birthday (as you have learned from the dedicated post).
Beside the other places described in the previous post, some sites particularly impressed us: the Central Market, Choeung Ek Genocidal Center and Royal Palace.
Central Market is an impressive colonial style building, fully renovated and amazingly organized in circles: jewelries in the center, clothes on the first circle, cleaning/ hygiene products on the next one, fruit and vegetables and lastly street food! Crazy!
We reached Choeung Ek by tuk tuk from Phnom Penh (about 12 km) and we found a place full of recent history whose stories almost make you cry. Not so long ago (in the 70s), during Pol Pot’s regime, more than 20 000 people were taken here in trucks, and then immediately killed with knives, shovels, machetes, bamboo sticks, etc. and thrown in mass graves. Babies were killed by being beaten with their heads against a tree!!! All this while loud traditional Cambodian music was played in loudspeakers to cover the desperate cries of the victims. Traces of these atrocities are still visible as some bones resurface during the rainy season. Impressive!
On the other hand, the Royal Palace (at least the part opened for the public) is an amazing collection of temples, stupas and gardens in the city center, next to Mekong River. The king lives there in his palace surrounded by a golden fence at the back of the garden.
Our adventure in Cambodia is finished, but one thing is sure: this is the first Asian country in which I would come back anytime!