The journey from Battambong to Phnom Phen was by public bus. Nak our guide had booked our seats. Rather than go to the bus station he had asked the driver to collect us from the hotel. As we climbed on board I shouldn't have been surprised but 40 Cambodian faces staring at you (some wearing face masks) was a little odd.
The bus is the long distance transport for the poorer people. To call it a bus does it a disservice. It is also a transport and delivery vehicle. As well as passengers it was carrying grain, fruit and other items. I kept hearing chicken noises and later saw them unloading containers of live chickens from the suitcase hold.
Every now and again it would stop and people would get on and off. At one stop some fruit sellers wanted to come on. However the bus driver refused as there were westerners on board and it would not look professional. You would have had to see the bus to know how silly that was !
The journey took about 6 hours. We had one stop at a garage for fuel and food. I went out the back for the toilet to find three freshly beheaded chickens bleeding on the floor......nice. I didn't have lunch !!
Phnom Phen is the capital city and it is manic. We settled into the hotel before heading out for a bite.
Today we had breakfast at the hotel. They have the worlds worst coffee. It is disgusting. Im told its the same in Vietnam so Im in trouble.
This morning we went first to S21. This used to be a school but was used by Pol Pots Khmer Rouge as a processing and torture centre during the time of the 'killing fields'. It was a pretty harrowing place.
Next we went to the 'killing fields' themselves. There were many of these around Cambodia. People were rounded up, taken to place like S21 then driven to locations outside the city and murdered. Around 2-3 million is the estimate. Their bodies were then thrown into mass graves and grassed over, hence 'killing field'.
This afternoon we have been to the Royal Palace and national museum. At the museum there were a group of Buddhist monks visiting. One asked me if I would take a photo of them together. I said yes if I can take a picture of them too. Deal struck.
Tomorrow we are on a public bus again to cross the border into Vietnam.