6th - 9th July 2009
We'd arranged to stay at the sister guesthouse of the hostel we'd stayed at in Siam Reap so it was nice to get off the bus and have a tuk tuk waiting to take us there especially after Kate saw our backpacks nearly get stolen out of the bus. When we arrived at the hostel it left a lot to be desired so we headed next door and had some dinner and watched the Lion King with the kids from that hostel. The kids bored of it after a while but Nikki sure didn't and could nearly speak every line. Kate and Sian weren't too far behind either.
The following morning Nikki and Kate went for a run. We found it very hard to run in Phnomh Penh as the footpaths were very narrow and the roads extremely hard to cross with all the traffic. It was a fairly dirty city and we ran through a pile of syringes. Fortunately we both had our runners on so it wasn't a problem but off putting at the least. Not long after that we had a guy pull up next to us in his Mitsubishi 4WD with his pants down and his penis out. He then said 'Morning ******ing' and drove off. It was really really disgusting. When we got back to the hostel we were told by Sian that she'd awoken in the middle of the night to the sound of scurrying feet. Turns out they had a rat in their room! We were off to a not so good start so we decided to move guesthouses. Sian and Nikki found an awesome place just meters down the road called Happy Guesthouse. Kahlee was arriving that morning so we shifted over there and Sammy and I headed to greet Kahlee at the airport. It was so much fun riding in the tuk tuk with her and seeing her get surprised by the culture that we'd become more or less accustomed too.
We spent that afternoon drinking on the outdoor communal area at the guesthouse and listening to music. It was so much better than the last guesthouse and we had a great view of the lake which they were actually filling in (reclaiming land) to make space for more buildings/bamboo shacks. Kahls and I later that afternoon went for massages whilst everyone else (except for Matt) went to the market. It was Kahlees first cheap massage and I believe she got addicted!
The next day we hired two tuk tuks and set out to explore the sites of Phnomh Penh. Our first stop was S-21 which was a school converted to a jail where they tortured people during the Khmer Rouge regime. It was fascinating and upsetting at the same time and a definite learning experience for us all. We then went out to the Killing Fields which is where they killed the people held at S-21. Basically they killed anyone who was intelligent, spoke another language or wore glasses and buried them in mass graves at this site. This was in the mid - late seventies. It's ironic as there is now an orphanage next door. Despite this past we found that generally the people of Cambodia are lovely and happy and we really enjoyed our time there.
Later that afternoon we went to a shooting range. On the way there the tuk tuk broke down in the middle of a puddle on a really busy road. There were trucks, cars and numerous scooters having to navigate around us and constantly honking. Our driver put the Australian Aboriginal bush mechanics to shame with his dodginess. There was a bit of wire jammed into the lead and then wound around into the spark plug. Surprisingly it worked okay and we were off to shoot AK-47's after his second attempt. Sammy even bought a duck to shoot. It was shot first by Sam and then killed by Bri on his turn. We were assured though that it would be eaten so that makes it ok yeh? Nikki even shot an AK-47 as well. She found it really heavy and powerful with the bullets ricocheting off the walls. There was definitely no work place health and safety at this place as everyone was crowded in the same room and within metres of the person shooting the gun. The gun was so hot it burnt Nikki's hand but the guy said it was OK. We're not so sure about that.
When we were eating dinner at a restaurant that night we had a boy come in and try to sell us some books. We weren't interested and the boy called Sammy 'gay'. We laughed at first but then he touched Matt's lips with his hand and then touched his hand to Sammy's lips and called them both gay. When Sammy tried to block him off the boy bit him. He went away. We told the waiter who tracked the boy down and made him come back and apologise to us. He looked like he'd had a severe talking to. He was one of many touts that would come and hassle us even when we were sitting down inside a restaurant. We didn't experience this in Thailand and generally found the touts in Cambodia hassled us a lot more than anywhere else we've been.
Next stop Nikki's birthday in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam!