Lets take this gig global!!
Morning to you all, Well after a well deserved good nigths sleep we were up and at it yesterday with a busy day ahead. We fuelled up with a big breaky from the local supermarket, untold bananas, cakes, and pastries for just a $1.20!! Bonus! Then walked to the Royal Palace as our first stop only to be told that there was a strict dresscode and no wifebeaters were aloud!! Seeing as stevo had so rudely dressed down for the occasion that threw that plan out the window!! After a little detour to the Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship monument we headed to the National Museum next door only to be first told that it was shut!! Just after thinking it was gonna be one of those days we managed to talk to someone and were aloud in. It turns out that it was the annual National Culture ceremony that night and they were setting up for it. Judging by the scale of the seating its a pretty big event!! It was a bonus for us tho as we had the whole place pretty much to ourselves and normally you are not allowed to take pictures but with everyone so distracted we managed to sneak a few in!! After that we took a stroll along the waterfront to see what it looked like in daylight then had a real nice lunch and hour in the shade at a quaint local cafe in one of the quirky side streets. After lunch we finally managed to fulfill a promise and caught a motorbike to get to the Tuol Sleng Museum (S-21 Prison). This place was really eery as it was previously a normal high school and walking around you can clearly picture the contrast from one day where the children are playing to literally hell on earth just a year later!! Thanks to Pol Pot's regime some of the most brutal genocidal crimes were commited here and today they are fairly graphically (and I think correctly) portraid. Its unbelievable to think that this all happened less than 30 years ago, in our parents life time and at a time when Bob Marley and the Beatles were number 1 back home!! Just crazy. there were some really good comments written in the visitors journal aswell which summed up the whole feel of the place but dont worry I wont go into them right now! After that we caught another moto out to the Killing Fields where the prisoners were taken to be 'liquidated'. Once again it was a crazy journey with really bumpy and dusty roads and defo a "Jesus, if mum could see me now" kinda moment!! There wasnt a whole lot to see here but a few bones and clothing are scattered about and peep through the ground. Its more a place to just reflect on it all. We got dropped off back at our hotel and just chilled last night. Met another sound English guy, Paul, who has just finished nine years in the RAF so as you can imagine he had a few interesting stories to tell!! We also watched the film 'The Killing fields' which was a good round off to our day and illustrates the severity of it all. So a good day on the whole. Like many Asian countries There is such a deep and volatile history and none more so than Cambodia. During the Pol Pot era 70% of educated Cambodians were slaughtered which is probably a strong reason why the country is 5-10 years behind its neighbours. Unlike Vietnam, it is amazing to see a place which is still well and truly evolving and still in the transition phase of development (its kinda what I imagined travelling to be like- I think we've had it all too easy so far!!) I have never been to a place where the architecture is so unique and immense and the people are friendly and passionate aswell. Another great sight is the monks you see walking around in their bright orange/yellow robes. I never get bored of watching them in somewhat out of place surroundings and seeing the level of respect they get. Quality! Well anyways, as you can probs tell Cambodia is a unique and amazing place so far as what we've seen upto now. But I better go as we're gonna checkout the markets this morning and then try and do the Palace this arvo before we move onto Siem Reap and the BIG ONE tomorrow. Well, take it easy Dan