Thursday, 5 March 2015

Whirlwind Phnom Penh

This was a really short trip. I was only staying 2 nights before leaving by ferry for Chau Doc, Vietnam. In fact I would only be spending a day sightseeing. Half of that day would also be at the Choeung Ek Genocidal Centre,  also known as the killing fields. After the previous 5 days in Myanmar on the tourist loop, looking at Pagodas and fishermen, this was a really sombre day in comparison. I recommend getting the audio guide (Unless you are in a group they'll likely charge you for it anyway.), it really helps in understanding what happened.

Thinking back, even though its been 2 whole days since I visited til I'm writing, I still have disbelief that it really occurred. How does one order the deaths of 1 in 4 of your countrymen? I guess just like the Nazis persecuted the Jews, when power is unchecked, the unthinkable can happen. It is no wonder that even when refugees told of the horrors, most of the world did not believe them either.

After lunch and a quick stop by the Russian market, we also visited the old prison where those executed would have been. Blood splatters still exist on some of the ceilings as well as the floors of both interrogation rooms and the tiny cells which the prisoners were held. After visiting both places the same day, thelast stop at the grand palace, though magnificent, really wasn't enough to lift ones spirits.

As my previous post,  I'm also including a cost breakdown. Pictures when I get back home and look at what's on my camera.

2 Mar 2015
- 9USD Tuk Tuk to hotel(King Grand Boutique Hotel) from airport (This was a flat rate from the counter. I reckon you could get 7-8USD if you haggled outside the airport grounds. After 24 hours of continuous travelling, I wasn't up for haggling)
- 2USD laundry ( You can find laundry rates as low as 1USD/kg. I wasn't really searching very hard for the lowest rates)

3 Mar 2015
- 6USD Choeung Ek Genocidal Centre (Killing Fields)
- 3USD Audio Guide
- 3USD Tuong Slay Genocide Centre (S22 prison)
- 25,000 Cambodian Rials Grand Palace

4 Mar 2015
- 20USD Ferry from Phnom Penh to Chao Doc (This is the agent price though as I was fortunate enough to be travelling with my travel agent friend. You're unlikely to get the same price as a walk in customer. Additionally, for some reason, the ferry ride from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh is 5usd more)