After leaving Phil, I travelled down to Phnom Penh. It was crazy arriving there as the second you get off the bus you are harrassed by people trying to get you into their tuk tuk. A guy said he knew where the hostel I wanted to was, then drove two seconds around the corner, then asked me where the place was. It turned out we couldn't find it, so had to go somewhere else - it was called Rory's guesthouse, and was full of older English and Australian men with young Cambodia women. Great!! Moved on pretty quickley after that and fortunately met the lovely Matt - he is officially my first travelling buddy on my own, and he was the perfect candidate - i hope we stay in touch!
Spent the next few days visiting the Touls Sleng Museum (S-21) - a school which was changed into a concentration camp/torure area during the Kymer Rouge reign. You can actually enter the rooms where the bed frames still sit in them. The place is covered in pictures of many of the thousands of people who were taken, tortured and killed there. It was a really shocking experience, but one I am glad I had. I then went to the Killing Fields, about a 40 minute drive away, which is where the people would be bussed and killed, leaving mass graves all around. The bones and skulls are displayed for people to see.
Went out on my first evening with Matt, and his friend's girlfriend, Elida, who was born in Cambodia, and her father still lives here. It was such an amazing experience to see Cambodia with her - she took us to all the places we wouldn't know to go, and got us to try foods we would never have tried before! Walking around we just looked like 3 tourists, and so it was hilarious to see the tuk tuk driver's reactions when she reponded to the their shouts in perfect Cambodian! They all found it very funny!
Spent the next day navigating my way around Phnom Penh, which I am happy to say I did pretty well. Went to the National Museum and then the Palace, which is where I made my monk friend, Loi. It was Sunday, so there were alot of monks at the Palace as they are not studying. Loi said it was ok for him to be talking to me for so long because everyone knew that I was not his 'sweetheart', but an oppertunity to improve his English. He was such a fantastic guy, and I am really glad I got to meet him. Got a free tour guide aswel!!