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Sunday 9 Mar 2003
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

S-21

Ive been reading yer messages in the guestbook and you think that Im taking in Cambodia a little too fast... well theres a reason for that.. Ive quickly learned that Cambodia is damn EXPENSIVE and Im on a fairly tight budget (a beer in Phnom Penh costs about 2 dollars, whereas in Bangkok it costs 1).. sounds cheap I know, but the costs mount up believe me (going through about 30-40 bucks a day for food, accommodation, etc! ouch!).

My Vietnam visa also starts on the 11th of March (for 30 days validity) so Im thinking of spending about 2 weeks in Cambodia and that should give me about 3 weeks in Nam! Relax people!!!

Today I went to visit S-21 and walked around Phnom Penh today (despite getting hassled by moto-drivers every minute... I kid you not. It seems walking around is a foreign concept as everybody travels by motorbike here... trying to walk across the road takes about 2 minutes!). Phnom Penh is quite small (relative to Bangkok anyway) and almost everything is within 15 minutes walk from the city center (where my guesthouse is based)...

Anywaaaaay... S-21. Yes this was quite depressing indeed. The main prison used by the Khmer Rouge was actually a high-school before being taken over and the classrooms were transformed into tiny cells and interrogation (torture) rooms.

The museum is still quite raw (despite the events happening about 20 years ago) and underfunded. You can still see parts of the cells where the cleaners have missed (such as blood spatters on the ceiling of certain cells where who knows what happened)... Another building showed the torture implements used and I gotta say I was pretty damn shocked!... pictures will be on the way as soon as I get a scanner (probably in Vietnam)

After that I went across the road to the Bodhi Tree restaurant and this is chill-out central. I laid back with a fan and a banana smoothie for about an hour. The food is great too, although the lunch did cost me 5 dollars! (Yes this *IS* considered expensive in Bangkok, but pretty standard in Cambodia!!)

After that I went to the Russian Market (called as such because of the amount of bargain-hunting Ruskies who went there in the 80s/90s) and bought 2 t-shirts and a Vietnam Lonely planet book all for about 5 dollars.. sweet! This market is a definate must-see as you can literally buy anything there! Well except for nukes...

All in all a good day... although I didnt get a chance to catch the Silver Pagoda (closes at 5 pm, as does every tourist attraction here!) or the rifle range but those are hot on my list tommorrow...

And no more walking around Phnom Penhs dusty streets, Im moto-cycling tommorrow

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Photo Album

  • Me and my AK47

    Phnom Penh

    Cambodia

    Me and my AK47
  • RAMBO!

    Phnom Penh

    Cambodia

    RAMBO!
  • Holding cell

    Phnom Penh

    Cambodia

    Holding cell
  • Torture...

    Phnom Penh

    Cambodia

    Torture instruments