Kampot & Phnom Pen

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April 3rd 2017
Published: April 21st 2017
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Kampot is a sleepy little riverside town its pretty and peaceful. I stayed in a fairly new hostel called Jetzt and a girl who lives not far from me at home so we hung out together for a few days. The place we were staying was owned by three fun Swedish guys who really did everything to make sure their guests were happy I was very impressed. Walking along the river was really nice all lit up on both sides with brightly coloured bridges going over. We went and found a desert shop and pigged out on ice cream and cake.

The first night a guest in the dorm decided to drink to much and throw up all over the place (gross) and while they cleaned the room they sent us back to the bar for free drinks and continually apologised. We hid in the bar until the smell had chance to go away.

As the town is quite small there is not a huge amount of things to do however we explored the local markets and even found a cinema were we watched The Beach with Leonardo DeCaprio as he goes traveling to Thailand in the film with thought it was appropriate seeing as we were also heading in that direction the rooms were private and actually had a huge bed in.

It rained quite a lot during my few days here so a lot of the time was spent hiding out in the hostel waiting for it to stop. One day we went on a tuk tuk tour to some local sights, we went to the pepper farm, some caves that we had to cross a very dubious log bridge to get to and a nice big lake which is apparently very popular for swimming when the weather is nice. The tour also took us to the nearby beach town of Kep i was originally planning on staying in Kep but im glad that i didnt as there really wasn't anything there very small overcrowded beach and a few market stalls we did however see a group of wild monkeys raiding the bins nearby which was quite funny. We were repeatedly soaked throughout the day and my lovely white shoes (which i should have known better than to wear) got completely wrecked.

After three days it was time to move on as i still have lots to see and haven't even moved in to central cambodia yet.

I took a bus to the capital of Phnom Pen it was only a little mini bus but i was the only person in it so no complaints. Along the way the driver stopped and picked up locals which i thought was quite nice and dropping them off along the route for some small fee, the people of Cambodia are so nice and kind it was a pleasure to ride alongside them.

Phnom Pen is a totally different ball game to the place I've been the last couple of weeks it is a big city crazy traffic and lots of people remind me why i want to stay out the cities now. Cambodia has a horrifying history of war and poverty and Phnom Pen was at the centre of their most recent conflict about 40 years ago. I took out to visit a place called the killing fields and moved by what these people had gone through a lot of people lost their lives during this civil war and it shocked my to find out how people were imprisoned and executed for things like wearing glasses or speaking a second language as educated people were seen as a threat to the new regime. As i walked around these fields looking at what was once mounds in the ground now look like open pits and to think that thousands of people were killed in this very spot near made me cry. The horrific truth is that the whole world stood by and accepted who they thought to be the legitimate Cambodian government unknowing what they were actually doing within the borders. There is a lot more to be said on this place but you really should experience for yourself to understand even a little bit what these poor people went through.

The second place we stopped on the tour was the genocide museum i didnt realise until we arrive that the museum was actually the s21 prison were people were tortured in to confessions and held captive until they were of no further use and then they were sent to the fields. Many of the rooms have not been changed and still hold the original furniture such as metal framed beds that people were chained to. One of the floors has been dedicated primarily to photographs from that time and there are at least three rooms of just peoples faces men women and children. To think that children were held in this prison and sent to those fields before they were even old enough to know what was happening breaks my heart. We must learn from what happened here and never let it happen again.

There is also a huge palace in Phnom Pen that you can visit although i just took a few pictures from outside as i found the price a little steep. It is very beautiful and im sure its worth visiting if you have a little bit more time/money. The last thing i did in the city was go to the market it was a huge indoor area and all of the shops are packed so tightly together you cant be sure where one ends and the next begins it was interesting to walk around but i have to stop buying things because i wont be able to lift my case if i carry on.

Next stop Siem Reap!

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