Learning More in Phnom Penh

Day 2

This time with proper clothing, we headed to see the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. It was a nice area to walk around. There were lots of interesting buildings to check out.

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Phochani Pavilion
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Throne Hall
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Silver Pagoda
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Model of Angkor Wat
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Stupa of HM King Suramarit and HM Queen Kossomak

 

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Stupa of Princess Kantha Bopha

 

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In the early afternoon, we took a tuk tuk to the S-21/Tuol Sleng Genecide Museum and Killing Fields. They were both fascinating places though quite sad at the same time.The audio tour was very well done at both places. I would say it is 100 percent necessary to get the audio tour to experience this museum. I learned so much about the history of Cambodia and the unfortunate things that were happening during the Khmer Rouge regime. The museum was actually a high school that was later turned into a prison and torture area during this regime. Listening to the stories about what they did to people there was just awful. It was also very eye opening for me, and I realized I knew so little about Cambodia. This trip in general reminded me that it’s good for me to learn about the countries I’m visiting and to appreciate what I’m getting to experience as a traveler.

S-21 Prison/ Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

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We started the audio tour sitting on a bench while getting an introduction to what we were about to see and learn.
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I learned about some of the awful ways people were tortured.
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In this building, we saw and heard lots of stories about people who were kept here and some of the reasons why.

 

The Killing Fields

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I don’t know if this sounds strange since the museum and fields are not the most light-hearted, joyous places to go, but this was my favorite part of our trip to this city. I just learned so much, and I really felt something when I visited. It’s always the places that make me feel a strong emotion whether it be joy, awe, or sadness that stay with me the most. If you don’t know about the Cambodian genocide and you would like to know more  you can check out some information here.

It was pouring rain during the tuk tuk ride from the museum to the fields. Luckily our tuk tuk had a rain cover that our awesome driver very quickly set up for us when the rain started. Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t as well protected and only had a rain jacket and his helmet. I felt so bad about him having to drive us in the crappy weather condition. I really appreciate how kind he was about it. He really didn’t seem too phased by it, but I know it must have sucked. To show our appreciation we gave him a good tip. I had read on multiple sites and discussion boards about tipping in Cambodia. Generally what it seems to boil down to is that it isn’t necessary or originally part of their culture (some people think it is good to avoid altogether) , but if you feel like the service is good it can be nice to give one.This guy definitely deserved one.

That was the last of our adventures in Phnom Penh before heading to Siem Reap.

 

 


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