We caught the bus to Phnom Penh from Saigon early in morning, the journey was fine and took about six hours in total (a relatively small journey now for us!) When we arrived we had the usual hustle and bustle of tuk-tuk drivers trying to get our custom. We decided to share one with a couple of lads from London that we'd met on the Journey, to spread the cost. They were only on holiday, so to them budgeting wasn't a priority and they stopped in the first place they looked at, far too expensive for us! :) We had to have a good shop round - about five or six places - to find a clean cheap place. Eventually we found one and settled in for the night, we arranged to meet the two lads (Andy and David) again in the morning to share a tuk-tuk to go to the killing fields - our main reason for stopping in Phnom Penh really, as well as splitting the journey up to Bangkok. Then we just chilled for the rest of the night as we were quite tired.
The following day, as planned, we went to the killing fields. The Killing field that we visited was one of many sites across Cambodia used for the mass execution and burial of millions of Cambodians under the Pol Potts regime. Pol Potts was an evil man, the head of the Khmer Rouge, a right wing group that took over Cambodia and killed anyone that disagreed or stood in its way! It was a very interesting day out, but also a very morbid and eerie place to be. The first thing you go and see is a huge glass cabinet tower that has thousands and thousands of human skulls, bones and the clothes that they were wearing at the time of their execution. We then walked around the site of the pits that the body's were thrown into, piled on top of each other. They had all been excavated now but the amount and size of these pits were shocking! You could even still see the odd bone here and there, also in one pitt a single skull just lay in the middle. Like I said it was a very interesting and informative visit but a very upsetting one at the same time. After the killing fields we just had a wander around in the evening and went for some dinner.
We only had two days to spend in Phnom Penh and Sarah had been wanting to go to the market and do some shopping for ages, so that we did. We had read about a huge market they have locally called the 'Russian Market'. We wanted to buy various bits and bobs and a few presents for people. It was a good day out, very tiring as I hate shopping and get absolutely shattered after walking into the first shop!!! Also very tiring because markets are where the bartering is most intense and crucial for everything you buy - you can always get what you want for half the price they start at, if not less!
We were getting the night coach to Bangkok that evening so we had to get back. We got on the bus at around 8pm, it was a proper locals bus we were catching this time. As we boarded the bus there were people sitting all down the aisle of the bus, all sat on top of big bags of rice! Luckily we had reserved seats and as we found our seats there was a guy sitting in them so I asked him to move, he obliged but then I discovered he only had one leg! I Felt well guilty, he got a seat though! We arrived at the Thai border at about 5am and had to stay on the bus and sleep as the border did not open until 8am. We got booted off the bus about 7 and just had to hang around for a bit, we got some food and then we got a lift on a scooter to the border. This was interesting as we had to take our huge bags on the back as well! Which are 25kg+! It was a bit of a struggle but we managed it. Once through the border we had to get a small minibus to Bangkok which took a further eight hours! This journey was really uncomfortable because we landed the worst seats - the back ones that didn't recline at all and were so small and cramped. I was very relieved to reach our destination and to learn that I was still able to walk - my knees and back were killing!!