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Published: September 10th 2006
12th May (Fri) - We took a "deluxe" double decker bus from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, the capitol of Cambodia. (The bus is actually 2nd handed... The original signs and labels, written in Chinese, were still in the bus, which was probably made in Taiwan.) In Phnom Penh, after putting our luggage in the hotel, we went to explore the O Russei Market and the Central Market. We also went to a Buddhist shrine to watch a Vesak Day ceremony, and explored the area near the railway station and the Boeng Kak lake. The public infrastructure in Cambodia is rather poor, as the buildings look dilapidated and the roads are full of potholes. But nevertheless the city of Phnom Penh is bustling with energy and the streets are clogged with cars, motorcycles and bicycles. (The traffic is simply chaotic. No proper traffic lights. Random crossing and overtaking. People travelling in different directions on a single lane. You get the idea.)
13th May (Sat) - We booked a tut-tut (a motorcycle fitted with a mini carriage behind) for the whole day, and the driver brought us to the various landmarks in Phnom Penh. The royal palace and the national museum
are great. The Tuol Sleng museum is a memorable and thrilling place, as it was the former prison and torture centre of the Khmer Rouge (some crazy political party like the Nazis). There is a gallery displaying photographs of those who were detained and executed in the Tuol Sleng centre. Some of those victims were only children! The Cheung Ek killing field, in the southern suburb of Phnom Penh, is even more poignant, as it was the burial ground of thousands of innocent victims killed by the Khmer Rouge.
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