Firstly, Happy New Year! I also hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. It was certainly a strange experience being here for the holidays. And although they were enjoyable, it also just made me miss home a lot.I decided this post is going to be extremely abbreviated- I say that a lot, but this time I mean it. This is because, as much as I like to write my blog, its been so long since this trip ended that writing this final post seems a bit like a chore. The trip is no longer as fresh in my memory as it was. Also, this will get my blog a bit more up to date, and maybe that means I’ll feel more encouraged to write on it. So I’ll give you a super fast rundown and if you want to know more details, then leave a comment or skype me and I can tell you myself.
Ok, here we go.
We were in Saigon, went to the beach about 6 hours east of Saigon. Stayed in a bungalow near the beach. There were a lot of mosquitoes, they bite. Then we went back to Saigon, got off the bus, walked across the street, bought a new ticket and got on a bus to Phnom Penh 10 minutes later.
Got to Pnhom Penh and on the second day there went the Killing Fields where hundreds of thousands were executed under the Khmer Rouge. There is a big memorial there filled with skulls of some of the victims filled to the top. You can also see pieces of clothing partially dug into the paths that we walked on around the mass graves. It was very unnerving.
We then went to Security Prison 21, more commonly referred to as S-21, which was a school converted into prison under the same regime ran by Pol Pot. Not exactly a day of happy tourist spots that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside (they have those spots too, but its a different kind of happy, and it involves pizza), but important to experience first hand nonetheless. If you don’t know much about Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, then you should wikipedia it, its very sad. And quite frankly it only happened 30 or so years ago while the world stood by and watched. Made me think about how long it will takes us to do something real about Darfur and other places like that. Additionally, I though of how different the country would be today if it wasn’t missing a whole generation of educated people. Perhaps one of the sadist things was that the guards who worked at the prison were just as scared of Pol Pot as the regular population. There was really no choice for anyone except obedience or death.
Next day we left for Siem Reap to check out Ankgor Wat, which is a giant area of ancient hindu temples (although most Cambodians are Buddhist now, or would at least describe themselves as that). The whole park, which costs $25 or so to get into for a day, is massive and require you to hire a tuk-tuk driver for the day to take you around because they are spread out over many many kilometers.. We paid ours $20 or something. The temples were very awesome, but I’ll just let all the picture tell you about them.
The next day, we checked out of our hotel and took a bus back to Bangkok, which include a land border crossing which was quite lengthy. We arrived back in Bangkok with little trouble however and were glad to be home.
The End. Enjoy the many (oh so many) photographs. I’ll be back with more current happenings from now on. I’m traveling to Laos later this week, so I should have stories from there when I return. And don’t forget I have a twitter feed now at the bottom of the website, so you can check that out for more current updates, or follow me if you have an account (I’ll follow you too! (unless you are a spammer trying to sell me nudy pics.))
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- Act III: Saigon