Blogs from Phnom Penh, South, Cambodia, Asia - page 198

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Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh July 18th 2006

In the morning I woke up early and headed out to some ruins north of Angkor Thom: Preah Khan a monastic complex from the late 12th century. It wasn’t so crowded in the morning and I had a chance to have a good look around. A funny thing happened while I was on my way into the structure, I met a young police officer who works in and around the temple complex. The funny part was that as we started talking, his English was quite good, he started giving me a guided tour and pointing out key features of the ruins. It seems that even the police are not beyond getting a little extra take home pay. One group of tour guides in training came past and the leader made a joke to the young officer ... read more
Some revisionist carving
Just say no to guns!
Outside the old market of Siem Reap

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh July 18th 2006

Alright, where to start... After sitting in the Singapore airport for a few extra hours, our plane finally left for Bangkok. We all tried to pass out on the flight but it was pretty rough so we kept waking up :P We landed at Bangkok airport at 1am and had to pay another stupid 500 baht departure fee even though we only stayed there for 7 hours :P WTF We "tried" to sleep in the Bangkok airport but the plastic chairs weren't the greatest. Raj and Will went for a 2km walk through the terminal to find a 7-11 and buy some noodles haha, I went to sleep... Our plane left at 7am the next morning and we were all delerious and feeling pretty rough. The budget airline we were flying on even charged for water ... read more
Raj and his Cambodian Beer
Bryan and his Angkor Beer
Will and his Beer Laos

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh July 14th 2006

well look who's got addicted to her blog...! today was another wonderfully mad day..arising early and being in the office by 8am to meet Socheata (my favourite gal here...'bubbly and squeaky' would describe her perfectly..not in the tattie and spinach sense ofcourse). Everyone at CDPO has been amazing with arranging interviews and meetings for me, and today she'd got four women from all over phnom penh to agree to share their thoughts with me...so after a breakfast of beef noodle soup in a packed local restaurant (believe me, 100 pairs of eyes turned to see the sleepy-eyed white girl traipse in), we got a moto (both riding sidesaddle, ofcourse) over to TV Apsara to talk with a girl who's legs just hadn't developed properly after being given a faulty dose of medicine when she was a ... read more
Who says these girls aren't b.e.a.uootiful??
Socheata
'Dis-abled' girls taking the world for a ride...

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh July 13th 2006

Cambodia is a revelation. Pretty much all I previously knew about the place could be personified in two rather unsavoury men - Pol Pot and Gary Glitter (for the non-UK-celeb-focused, Glitter was a 70s glam popstar turned paedophile who relocated to Cambodia following his release from prison in the UK - old, bald, failed, evil). Yet this poor embattled country has a strongly beating heart and a warm character all of its own, and I can’t wait to get to know it better. We only had four days scheduled for our trip - essentially an extended run across the border and back to renew our Thai visas. We planned to spend a day in Phnom Penh, which was meant to be vile, and visit the Killing Fields - an unpleasant but important dose of history in ... read more
The Phnom Penh left bank
A nice snazzy roof
Cool old guy carving by hand

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh July 13th 2006

Phnom Penh While in Phnom Penh we visited the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, made infamous by the killing fields and the S21 prison where 20,000 of the most educated civilians were killed by the Khmer Rouge regime between 1975 and 1979. In remembrance of those killed there is a huge monument filled with thousands of the victims skulls, many of which belonged to small children. Inside the prison, which was previously a school, most of the prisons cells and torture equipment is still in tact. The walls are covered in graphic and horrific photos of many of the victims in various states. Without actually seeing this for yourself it's difficult to comprehend just how bad things were here and even more depressing to think similar things are happening right now in other countries...This is easily the ... read more
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Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh July 12th 2006

11.07.06 We had a bit of a lay in this morning until 9am. The 4 of us then headed off for a day of shopping! First stop was Psar Tuol Tom Pong, the russian market. It was ok, we bought another christmas pressie and a little something for ourselves, but the pathways are so narrow and it's so hot in there that after an hour or 2 we had to get out into some fresh air. As it had been a long walk to the market we treated ourselves to a tuk tuk ride to Psar O Russei, another market where they sold mainly electrical goods but also they had the food section. There were lots of live chickens, ducks and geese. I say live, they were very deffinitely not doing so well. Time for lunch ... read more
The royal palace
Street life
Half dead chick or goose anyone?

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh July 11th 2006

Hey everyone! Well after the amazing Angkor we planned on taking the 'fast' ferry to Battambang and were told it would be a good 4hrs trip, since the water level was adequte. Well, a bum numbing 10hrs later we made our destination and despite the hunger pangs, it was still an interesting spectacle to see all the boat people and their interesting ways of life. I guess we should have known the boat ride would take awhile when we broke down 5mins after leaving! In Battambang, we were just into chilling after the long trip, and we couldn't decide what to do. So, instead of dithering we went out the next morning to Kompong Chhnang, a nice little town which is a minimal tourist destination. We had a great little countryside tour on a moto. The ... read more
tonle sap river
velo/coconut loads
Rice Paddies

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh July 10th 2006

So today we were going to do the main things people come to Phnom Penh to do, the Killing Fields and S21. So not a happy day of fun ahead. After breakfast the 4 of us (Andy, Kylie, Jon and myself) walked to S21, Toul Sleng Museum. Straight away we were hounded by tuk tuk drivers, motos and beggers showing off their missing limbs and burnt faces. For those of you who don't know what this museum is I, Melissa, shall tell you. In 1975 the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia. Pol Pot, the guy in charge, wanted to make it a communist country so everybody was equal, but still there became 2 classes, everyone and the Khmer Rouge. Pol Pot abolished all money, all food and put the calender to year 0 and wanted to ... read more
S21
Some poor victims
Some of the many victims of the Khmer Rouge.

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh July 8th 2006

Jackie and I have been in Cambodia for nearly two weeks now and we’re having a good time. However, I did make a mistake in my planning…Cambodia is not as cheap as I was expecting, at least not for food. We’ve been able to find plenty of cheap lodging, not paying more than $6 a night anywhere we’ve been, which is much cheaper than we ever found in Vietnam, which averaged $10 per night. However, food in Cambodia, which always seems to be priced in U.S. dollars, as is everything, is much more expensive than Vietnam. Even at the roadside stands, food is more expensive. We have yet to eat a meal for less than $2 in Cambodia, where we could have Pho and beers for less than that many places in Vietnam. So, my $15 ... read more
Phnom Penh 5
Phnom Penh 3
Phnom Penh 6

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh July 8th 2006

Our pre-Cambodia reading notes that "Cambodia, is like your always tripping". Words that will become a footnote for our time here. The first noticeable difference is that compared to the well organised and manicured paddy fields in Vietman, here they are more haphazardas, less well managed. A second difference is unlike the Chinese-Vietnamese border, the border here not only seperate two distinct countries, but two very different ethnic groups. The difference in Khmers is quite apparent; darker complexions, less 'oriental'. In cultural terms, while the Vietnamese side is heavily dominated by Chinese influences the Khmer culture has deep roots with the Indian subcontinent. We settle in Phnom Penh at 'No Problem' guesthouse, in backpackersville overlooking the Boeng Kak Lake. Coming in at $3 a night, with a relaxing patio's over the lake, cheap food, cheap beer ... read more
Wat Phnom - Khmer Art
Choeung Ek - The Killing Fields
Tooth - The Killing Fields




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