It was a very sad goodbye to Vietnam but thankfully the border crossing to cambodia was smooth. My passport is beginning to look very impressive!
Phnom Penh is the capital but very different from all other capitals in Asia that I’ve been to so far. There is a noticeable culture shock when you first arrive here, gone are the taxis replaced by tuk tuks everywhere! The city is also noticeably poorer and dirtier.
Spent the first evening walking along the riverside and enjoying a few cocktails as the sun went down.
The second day was the hardest. We started at the S-21 prison museum. Formerly a school, the grounds were seized when the Khmer Rouge ordered that Phnom Penh was evacuated. It was then transformed into one of the largest and most brutal interrogation centres in Cambodia from 1975-79.
There were only 7 survivors of this prison when Cambodia was liberated. Most were starved or beaten to death, often being made to confess to crimes that they hadn’t committed.
The second part of my day took a worse turn. Cheung Ek Killing Fields. The largest killing field in Cambodia, however there are over 120 but many have never been discovered.
During the short reign of the Khmer Rouge they murdered 4 million Cambodians which equates to a third of the population. This mass genocide was so recent yet so under taught in British schools which is appalling as it’s so relevant still in regards to the world stage.
For those who don’t know much about the Khmer Rouge I highly recommend a quick google as it’s so important and I don’t want to go too much into the horrific details on here.
A point was made to me. How many over 60 year olds have you seen in cambodia? My answer, non. This is because the most targeted group were those aged 20-50, and one third of them were murdered leaving a whole generation missing right now. This made it even more shocking to me that it is not taught at all in schools.
After a very deep few days, I’m heading to the islands for some much needed rest and relaxation!