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South-East Asia - Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
snoopy: Linus "Dear LJ"
schnuffichen
June 23 (Wednesday): Siem Reap --> Phnom Penh
  • 5h VIP bus ride to Phnom Penh
  • "My pillow smells like poo" (and a mouse or something in the pipe) --> verrrry sketchy hostel with verrrry affectionate hosts
After spending the morning in Siem Reap (although there wasn't much to discover anymore), we took this so-called VIP bus to Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh. VIP only means that it was small (like... 10 people, maybe?) and very air-conned.
The previous hostel had taught me that I need air-con at night (instead of the standard fan, an expectation I lowered over the rest of the trip, as fan rooms are usually $ 3 - 5 cheaper), so we were glad to find a place in P.P.'s tourist district for $8 US per night. The hosts were really super nice but very close to making out with each other in front of us, so... um... yeah.
The first night was verrry creepy. There was some weird noise in the pipe directly above our heads, it sounded like a mouse running back and forth through it. That was enough to get me all freaked out (which is silly, I used to have rats as pets and wasn't one bit afraid of them) and thinking that I'm bitten to death by bedbugs. Mind you, we'd sleep just fine at creepier places later during the trip but this was my first encounter with real fear at night. (Yeah, I tend to be a bit overly dramatic :P)
And I remember it being freakishly cold and of course I didn't want to wake Ry in the middle of the night, especially after I was the one wanting so desperately a room with air-con.


June 24 (Thursday): Phnom Penh
  • Royal Palace
  • National Museum (tiny!)
  • walk along riverside
  • cheap Pinacolada
  • pseudo-Russian Market
Today we did  lot of sightseeing. The Royal Palace was quite impressive. Small but very pretty. I was super psyched by the monkeys that were freely running around. I don't think I've ever seen real ones from this up close, except at zoos, so this was definitely special.
What held for the Royal Palace can also be said for the National Museum: Small but very pretty. There wasn't all that much to see and even less explanations, so it was slight waste of money. I very much enjoyed their yard, though - a very relaxed atmosphere and a very well maintained garden.
We walked along the Mekong in the afternoon, only stopping shortly for some cocktails and to write postcards. All in all a nice but rather not-exciting day. Phnom Penh didn't quite capture me, so I was glad that we really spend only one day there.



June 25 (Friday): Phnom Penh --> Bangkok
  • Happy Pizza! (Cambodia's version of Magic Brownies) --> very happy flight to Bangkok
  • genocide museum
  • verrry cool hostel (in Bangkok)
So, I'm only gonna tell you what happened before we got to Bangkok. There'll be a new entry for all the Thailand adventures. :)
In the morning we went to see the genocide museum, dedicated to the crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. Coming from "the Nazi country", I had a lot of appreciation for the well-done museum, especially because I didn't really know much about it before we went to Cambodia. Set in a former Khmer prison, it was very touching to walk through the cells that only 35 years ago kept so many innocent people.
(I'd say go and watch the most popular movie about this topic, "Killing Fields", but I hated it. It's probably the best education you can get without having to read books or going to Cambodia but it's really not well done at all. Lengthy and confusing.)
Ry had told me he wanted to go try Happy Pizza and, honestly, I had no idea what that was. Until I saw the note "To make it extra 'happy', add $1" on the menu. Uh huh.....
The pizza itself was surprisingly good (something with chicken and pesto, if I remember correctly). But let me tell you... the first time, you consume weed, don't do it in a third world country. And if you do, don't do it if you're gonna board a plane that very day. And if you do, don't do it if said plane crosses the border into another country, with passport controls and all that. Wellll... for what it's worth, I did have a great time, enjoying this flight way more than anything I've experienced before ("Hey... tell me... is flying always so much fun?") -- but I do have to say that it was one of the most stupid things you could do.

The rest of the pics are here.

As for what happened in Bangkok... stay tuned. ;)
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Ohh,wow, thank you for sharing these pics! I've never beem to Phanom Penh before. Usually my family goes to Europe, too see something different. :D

Hahaha, yeah, I can totally see that. It's like... I've never been to Switzerland or Scandinavia before although it's so close to my home country. ;)

I think Cambodia was... nice... but not necessarily worth a trip (although of course, it's like right next to you). Had you been to Vietnam before? That's kind of high on my list now... :)

Nope, I've never been to Vietnam before.
But I went to Laos when I was young. Got to see a real Casino for the first time. ;)

Interesting . . . yeah, my uncle has tales about his experience. He survived as a 12-year-old (actually, just about all his family survived it, which is amazing, since many did not), escaped in the woods and managed to get found by some relatives or he would have died then. My aunt worked in the refugee camps (she's a nurse), but they actually met in France, not there. So of course we have a half dozen books/movies about the whole thing.

Eww, the rats . . .

Wow... that's really cool - I'd love to listen to your uncle's stories, must be fascinating. :)

Haha, omg.

Once again, love the pics as well as reading your posts :)

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