Abi's SE Asia Trip
Am not very good at writing this thing and keeping it up to date since last writing i have travelled all the way through Vietnam and am in Cambodia now. Have been learning lots (it has been cultural despite the photos!!!) for example i now know that America withdrew from Vietnam they didnt win!! (felt a bit silly thinking they won). As evident in the pics i have learnt how to cook amazing dishes which i will be trying when i get home if anyone can find me banana leaves and have been diving at Whale Island it was beautiful and colourful but with not many fish, because the day i dived i overdid it and walked round the island in and hour and 20 mins (,most people took 2 hours) i was a little poorly...but that didnt stop me playing with guns (accidentially pulled the trigger early it was wierd you dont have to pull it too hard oops trust me!!!) and crawling through the CuChi tunnels near Saigon used by the Viet Cong during the war. I held an uber snake and drank snake wine...with snakein it. On my last day in Vietnam i visited the War museum this was one of the most distressing places i had been so far as there were very graphic pictrues and videos of victims of chemicals like agent orange. It was a very anti american museum and the things the americans did were decipable they killed innocent women and children in one village they massacred they killed 54 children aged between 0-5 mnths ( who were they going to harm). They had pickled babies who had been affected by the agent orange chemcial, ..i know the vietnamese would have used dirty tactics but the long term effects of what the amercians did were horrible... everyone here believes that the amercians only came into war beacuse south vietnam has a good oil supply and they are afraid that communism will become more powerful than them. It was a very depressing afternoon but i dont regret visiting it it was very interesting because despite the conflict americans are openly and happily welcomed. Anyway left vietnam ealry in the morning to cross the border into Cambodia...on the bus, off the bus, carry the bags, have them scanned it was very annoying but eventually got through and we drove hours to Phnom Penh. I think i have a very happy view of the world as i was not quite prepared for the poverty and how unsafe i feel in the country. Vietnam i felt completelyt safe me and mari would walk back from the shops early evening alone but here i wouldnt dare.. the streets are so unlit and people just lie there and amongst rubbish. was told in the evening that Cambodia after Burma was the most dangerous country in SE Asia and about how the Khemer Rouge were forced into west in 1979 (crossing the thai border might be fun apparently for this reason). Today I went to the royal palace which was very extravagant We then went to the killing fields and S-21. The killing fields were absolutely horrible. It was were they killed anyone they didnt like (1 in 5 people during polpots regime were killed) there were giant craters where the bodies were buried and you walked along paths that still contained pieces of bones and pieces of clothing and blindfolds (it was really really upsetting) in the middle was a memorial were the skulls of excavated victims were kept and the tree were they killed children (by grabbing their legs and cracking there heads against the tree) still had a dark patch where it had been stained with blood from the victims. I struggled to see how popele could take pictures in a place like this. S-21 was the high school turned torture camp where 20,000 people were tortrued.. the classrooms hadnt been cleaned since the regime in 1975-1979 and still had blood stains on the floor and they werent just patches it was everywhere and on the walls. The people who committed the torture couldnt wirte so they took pictures as records and these were displayed..the methods used were barbaric and disgusting. Despite this despressing couple of days i am really enjoying myself it is really facinating and very interesting...wouldnt not have done it...am leaving for Siem Reap tommorrow and to see Angkor Wat on Mon am really excited up at 5 to see the sunrise over the temple!!!