Another adventurous bus trip brought us across the border to Phnom Penh. The bus rides in Asia can sometimes be criminal. As soon as we got out of the car, we realized that the cozy atmosphere of Laos was over. The people are more intrusive and the tuk-tuk drivers fight for their guests.
Phnom Penh is the Capital from Cambodia and is interesting to visit because of its past, but also depressing. For 11 US dollars per day we hired a tuk tuk driver who drove us between all the “sights”. Sightseeing is the wrong term here, it’s all places where the past of Khmer Rouge shows its signs. We visited the “Killing Fields”, where Pole Pot has executed thousands of slaves. In some cases, bits of clothing and bones still protruded from the mass graves. Signs label the places with explanations and details about the torture – it makes you feel really sick. A small museum reproduces the history of the Khmer Rouge well explained. The worst thought is that it wasn’t all that long ago (1975-1979).
We drove on to the S-21 (Tuol Sleng) – formerly a high school, later the torture prison of Pol Pot. The place of horror where people were held captive and tortured before being trucked to the Killing Fields. It is hard and very depressing to let these impressions sink in. It definitely beats on the mood.
That’s why we treated ourselves to a more enjoyable stop: The Royal Palace, which was very impressive.
One of the main destinations in Cambodia is Angkor Wat in Siam Reap . The city is very cozy, so you can definitely spend a few days here, even if it is quite touristy. You can either purchase a day pass for $ 20 or a 3-day pass for $ 40 to visit Angkor Wat. Angkor was built in the early 12th century, and they are the largest Temple ruins of the world. Despite countless temples so far, it is definitely a highlight and extremely impressive. We started with a wonderful sunrise with few tourists and ended the day at Angkor Wat at sunset.
Temple paradise around Angkor
In addition to Angkor itself, we visited the temples nearby: Angkor Thom, Preah Khan, Ta Prohm, Banteay Kdei and Pre rup . Lots of beautiful ruins – our favorites were Banteay Kdei and Ta Prohm. Much of the ruins there are engulfed by huge tree roots, which looks really great! It was a very long, but also very beautiful day!
After a day’s break, we visited the more distant temples: Banteay Srei, Banteay Samré and the Roluos Group. Nice too, but not quite as impressive as the others. Strolling through the corridors, marveling at the beautiful decorations and imagining life back then was very nice.