Continued from Phnom Penh Day 1.
Today is our only full day in Phnom Penh, so we are going to make it count.
Phnom Penh, like Siem Reap, was more expensive than we thought. For such a poor country as Cambodia, these two cities are expensive. I would say on par with Bangkok as far as transportation and food. It costs $30 a day to rent a tuk tuk. Instead we opted to pay for individual trips, which costs anywhere between $2 to $4.
The National Museum. When we checked into the hotel last night, we spoke to the hotel proprietor’s daughter, who lives in California and watches the hotel for her mom several months out of the year. She recommended this place to us. Apparently, many of the statues that used to be in Angkor Wat are now here. She also recommended us to eat at one of those training restaurants, because they have tarantulas!!! But, unfortunately, that restaurant is closed for the holiday I really want to eat spiders!
There are no photos inside, but I saw almost everyone else snap photos, so I snapped a few as well.
Seriously, I think this is supposed to be the clitoris. I believe these are Hindu and I saw these all over India. Believe they are for fertility? Someone correct me if I am wrong though in the comments section below.
There was a guy begging for money at the entrance of the National Museum. He was in a wheel chair and missing part of his legs. I am guessing that he lost his legs in one of the millions of landmines that are buried all along the countrysides of Cambodia. Civil wars suck.
We didn’t see anyone selling tarantulas. We even asked a police officer here, and he asked a couple of guys and they all said that there are no tarantulas here. Maybe it’s not tarantula season right now. Sigh. I guess it’s just not meant to be.
This used to be a high school, and when the Khmer Rouge took over, they turned it into a prison to interrogate, torture and execute prisoners. It’s estimated that some 17,000 were imprisoned here and only 7 made it out alive. This is just one of nearly 200 death prisons during Khmer Rouge’s rule. This is essentially the holocaust of Cambodia.
Pol Pot, this is the guy who fucked all these people. It’s also amazing how many of the Khmer Rouge leaders were well educated. A good amount of the top leaders went to receive their schooling in France.
I keep on posting so many of these photos because it’s the only way to just get a small glimpse of the scope of evil here. More than a million people were murdered by the Khmer Rouge, and yet, so few people in the Western world is aware of that. I for one certainly wasn’t very aware of all the details before coming here and reading up on it since the visit.
Some of the cells were made of wood. RL and I were both most scared of these. There’s just something medieval and hopeless about them. For me, it’s the particular smell of the wood in this room. It smells like my worst nightmare.
This is probably one of the most horrific and depressing places I’ve ever visited. RL and I both left very upset and heavy. In retrospect, not a good idea as a stop for our honeymoon. But, I felt like it was an important lesson in history and offers perspective in how good we have it now.
Enjoying her Fanta. While I was stuck outside the bus yesterday on the way into Phnom Penh, I got RL a Fanta…I waited so long to get back into the bus that I drank her Fanta. This is her revenge, I was thirsty and my drink hadn’t shown up yet.
While we packed at night, it started pouring rain. Just pouring. We’ve been lucky so far in this trip, did not really get caught in any rain yet. It’s supposed to be the beginning of the monsoon season over here in this region. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
To be continued at Saigon Day 1.