Wednesday 22nd June
So we managed to wake ourselves up in the morning in time to go to breakfast, which is something we seem to miss more often than not! A bus came to pick us up at around midday and took us to the public bus station where we piled onto the bus and prepared ourselves for the 6hour journey ahead. As public buses go this one seemed a bit strange compared to what we were used to, the driver seemed to stop anywhere he liked regardless of whether or not there was a bus stop and he always seemed to be picking up his mates, sometimes it got so crowded that people were just sitting down the isle and pretty much anywhere they could find a space.
We arrived at our destination just in time for dinner. We went to the restaurant next door to the hotel where we tucked in to an 8 course traditional dinner. With the low low prices we also got tanked up on beer and the two of us started planning a night out. Unfortunately we were the only two out of the whole group who felt this was a good idea but that was hardly going to stop us! We got a couple of suggestions from the tour guide and caught a tuk tuk into town. All the bars are situated along the river so it makes for a stunning view but instead of enjoying that we stumbled across an irish bar playing live music so thought this would be a good place to start. It turned out that the live music was down to the fact it was open mic night but we both agreed is was easily the worst open mic night either of us have ever experienced.
So the next stop on our tour of the local nightlife took us to a rooftop bar that was suggested to us by the tour guide. It was a cool place where we sat out on the balcony and enjoyed the view over a couple of cold beers. We didnt stay long though as the prices were quite high and we were becoming ever more suspicious that the lady boys were moving in. The last suggestion we were armed with was a club called 'The Heart of Darkness'. Sounds lovely! The only advice we were given was to avoid the lady boys in there but we thought we'd give it a go anyway. Needless to say we were on high alert from the second we stepped into the place. We walked through the club (which was awesome by the way!) and made our way upstairs where the pool table was. Quite a few 'locals' kept coming over to us but we were not in the mood for socialising as we presumed everyone to be a lady boy! Anyway we made contact with an american lad who told us that he lived nearby and worked in a school. He told us that the club was in fact a gay bar but was where all the tourists went and was also largely full of prostitutes! Apparently we were sat in the 'high end' section... Soon enough it was clear that we were only there for a night out and so the only time we were ever approached was to see if we wanted to play a game of pool.
We met some other travellers and spent the rest of the night with them. We left the club at about 4am and paid a dollar each to get a lift on the back of a motorbike through the streets lined with locals sleeping all over the pavement. We both managed to do a bit of drunken facebooking before calling it a night.
Thursday 23rd June
After a lie in this morning we woke feeling ok considering the previous night. Today it was planned that we would visit S21 and the killing fields used by the Khmer Rouge. S21 used to be a school but was changed to a prison where hundreds of prisoners were tortured and killed. We saw the crampt cells that were used aswell as the tools used during the torture. There was also a lot of images showing both the victims and Khmer Rouge members.
Next stop on this delightful trip were the killing fields. This is where hundreds of people were killed and was pretty much just a mass grave. There were bones and clothing still stuck in the ground that you could see starting to surface. Also in the middle of the area was a large monument filled with the bones of all the bodies found on the site. It was massive and really put into perspective how many people were killed in this spot alone!
The highlight of the day for sure came next. We had a trip to the Cambodian national kickboxing championships and it was semi-final night live on Cambodian tv. Walking into the arena a warm up fight was already underway. We sat down in our ringside seats and witnessed a swift knockout. Next we watched a fight that was pretty poor in standard and the locals in what we dubbed 'the kop end' made their dissapointment clear. It later came about that this fight had been fixed. The next fight was the biggest of the night and begun with fireworks and music after an introduction from the tv presenter. We all really enjoyed this fight as it was a shock result as the fighter who looked down and out came through with a swift knee to the ribs of his opponent who was put to the floor instantly! Final fight of the night will be remembered for our cameo appearance on national tv. As the fighters came out to the ring one of them came right up to the both of us and bowed. It must of brought him luck as he ended up winning the fight.
As the crowds flocked home in similar fashion to what you would see after a footy match we headed back to the riverside strip for an evening meal before getting an early night.