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Published: April 12th 2010
Cambodia - 10 Days
I entered Cambodia intending to pass through quite quickly because it is a small country that is sadly surrounded by countries, which provide the same, but better - e.g the jungle is nicer in Laos and the beaches better in Thailand.
I did spend 10 days there and found it very interesting, although I found myself happy to leave as I found it a little depressing; the people are very poor and I was constantly reminded about the genocide inflicted on the people by the western supported
Kymer/Khmer Rouge (Pricks).
I entered from the Si Phan Don area in Laos and went straight to Banlung, via Stung Treng, to visit the Yeak Laom Volcanic Lake, A 700,000 year old volcanic crater lake considered sacred by the local tribal minorities, which was pretty but far from amazing.
From Banlung I headed to the capital stopping in Kampong Cham for a night to both break the journey and to see another town. There wasn’t much to see but walking around it was clear how poor the people were. Phnom Penh
Next was the capital Phnom Penh, which had the fascinating S-21 genocide museum, a
former school which was converted and used as a Prison to detain and organize the public into groups to be killed or tortured. Take a look at some of the children that were considered to be enemies of the state.
I was impressed by the illustrations of Vann Nath, a Cambodian artist, writer and human rights activist, who was one of only seven survivors of the Khmer Rouge's secret prison. His artwork is vital in demonstrating to the world the atrocities that took place in Cambodia at that time.
The people were taken to a site outside the city to be murdered by the state, nowadays this area is known as the Choeng Ek Killing Fields and there is a memorial, full of skulls and displays of the excavation sites where the remains of human bodies were found.
The capital also gave me the opportunity to try eating testicles, as I’ll try anything once. I ordered some ox testicles in a pepper sauce but I didn’t expect the huge plate I was served. I managed to eat only 3 of the very chewy Ox balls. Bokor Hill Station
From the capital I headed down to Kampot in
Yeak Laom Volcanic Lake
Considered sacred by the local tribal minorities
order to visit the Bokor Hill Station, an abandoned French town in the Preah Monivong National Park.
Reaching the top of Bokor Hill requires a 32km climb from sea-level to the top of the 3540ft peak up an old road
About 10 km from the Hill Station there is the Black Palace, a former dwelling for the boss man himself.
We reached the town, and most of the buildings are still standing but dilapidated and covered in vegetation. When we saw the view it was clear why this site held such strategic importance, also demonstrated by the fact that the Cambodian authorities maintained a Ranger Station on the site and even in the 1990s Bokor Hill was still one of the last strongholds of Khmer Rouge.
It was a spooky town and I heard some very strange noises in the night, like a frying pan being hit by a hammer in succession in every room in the building we were sleeping….ghost saying hello probably. Angkor Wat
The Angkor temple area near Siem Reap, otherwise known as Angkor Wat for the most recognizable of the temples, was the most amazing set of ruins I have seen so far on
Loading the lorries
The journey from Banlung to Kampong Cham
the planet. In fact I was pissed off to pay $20 entrance fee but after the visit was over, which took me a day to cycle around, I would have paid even more to enter. There was a Massive amount of ruins spread over a huge area with some amazing structures and some amazing details. My favourite temple was Angkor Thom with some impressive trees growing on the ruins but the Bayon temple with the massive stone faces on the many towers, which jut out from the upper terrace and cluster around its central peak.
That’s all I’m gonna write, go there yourself.
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