Phnom Penh

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July 23rd 2010
Published: July 23rd 2010
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Well, it's time for another update. It's almost the end of July, 2010, and I'm in the beach town of Sihanoukville on the south coast of Cambodia. It's my first time here.

For those that have read my blog over the years, you may recall I was in Siem Reap, Cambodia during my 9 week adventure through SE Asia in 2006. I loved my time in Siem Reap, but hadn't managed to get back to this fascinating country since then. Well, here I am.

Why now? Well, I'm in the middle of a one week break from teaching at KU (Kasetsart University). The school has graduation ceremonies this week for students who finished their studies in February. That has given me an opportunity to do a little traveling. Unfortunately, Saai's teaching schedule is different than mine so she is busy working while I'm playing. Not fair, I know. It would have been ideal if she could have joined me, but I've traveled by myself before, and lived to tell about it. So, here I am, giving it another go.

Although I'm in a beach town right now, I didn't start here. I flew into Phnom Penh on Sunday,
Royal PalaceRoyal PalaceRoyal Palace

taken from the riverfront.
July 18. Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia. Approximately 35 years ago, the Khmer Rouge practically emptied this city through their attempt to make a communist, agrarian society, free from religion or outside influences. The Vietnamese overthrew the Khmer Rouge government in 1979, but it took many years to completely defeat them. Since the 90s, tourism has steadily grown and the city of Phnom Penh is now bustling with lots of activity, new construction and growth. There are signs of hope, but lots of problems too. The history and current problems are documented elsewhere, and I won't attempt to get into them in this short little blog.

There is a lot to see when visiting Cambodia. Although Angkor Wat near Siem Reap is truly amazing, I found Phnom Penh to be very interesting as well. While in Phnom Penh, I visited typical tourist places like the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, S-21, and the killing fields. I found them all to be worthwhile.

I also checked out some good restaurants in Phnom Penh. My favorite place to hang out was the FCC (Foreign Correspondent's Club), and my favorite meal was at Romdeng (Khmer restaurant which employs and
View from the FCCView from the FCCView from the FCC

Tonle Sap River
trains disadvantaged youth)

The city has a significant French influence through France's occupation of the country at one time. Thus, there is plenty of French food and interesting colonial architecture. It's not unusual to see baskets of fresh bread traveling on the back of motorbikes on their way to restaurants and markets. That is not seen in Thailand where I currently live (it's all about rice there).

I'll provide lots of pictures for this update about Phnom Penh, and hopefully get another one up soon covering Sihanoukville.

Look! There goes Dave!

Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15



The FCC is on the 2nd & 3rd floors of this building

Inside the famous FCC in Phnom Penh. It's a great place to hang out in the late afternoon.

The garden area of this great restaurant.
Lunch @ RomdengLunch @ Romdeng
Lunch @ Romdeng

Khmer Muslim beef with peanut curry. Part of a 3 course menu for $6.50.
Fish at the Russian MarketFish at the Russian Market
Fish at the Russian Market

A few tasty options at the Russian Market
Tuk Tuk DriverTuk Tuk Driver
Tuk Tuk Driver

Mr. Thai Driver in Cambodia who just so happens NOT to be Thai.
Bread Anyone?  Bread Anyone?
Bread Anyone?

a basket on its way somewhere.
Tuol Sleng; S-21Tuol Sleng; S-21
Tuol Sleng; S-21

The Genocide Museum
Tuol SlengTuol Sleng
Tuol Sleng

which was converted from a school by the Khmer Rouge
Tuol Sleng picturesTuol Sleng pictures
Tuol Sleng pictures

Pictures of some of the people that were held here and killed by the Khmer Rouge
Killing FieldsKilling Fields
Killing Fields

a memorial for the people killed by the Khmer Rouge.
Killing FieldsKilling Fields
Killing Fields

One of many areas where mass unmarked graves were found.

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