Not Much Happening.
After yesterday’s excitement we all had a little sleep in and just cruised in the morning. Went out for breakfast approx. 1000. So we called this brunch for the kids and they would only have a snack for lunch.
We walked around our little area of 178 St which seems to be in the in the middle of everything but not a main St. Walked up 13 St and then down to Wat Ounalom to check it out. This is a Temple with a few monks inside. I didn’t see anything to read on the history and it felt like we shouldn’t be in there as there were no other tourists inside so took a few photos and got out.
Returned to the room approx. 1300 and let the kids catch up on school work. Went back out after the afternoon heat approx. 1700 for some dinner as we were all starving. Grabbed $2US jug of Cambodian beer. Had another sensational Khmer curry for dinner and another jug of beer before returning to the room for a movie. There must have been something in the beer because Summer could not sleep and I had the weirdest dreams.
Don’t know what to think.
Today we arranged for our tuk tuk to pick us up at 0900 to take us to the ‘killing fields‘ and then on to the S21 Genocide Museum. Both Summer and I had mixed feelings about going into these places with the kids as we didn’t know whether to expose them to these terrible events in history.
Went down stairs and met with Mony our tuk tuk driver, he said it was OK and the kids could just sit in the café if they didn’t like it. So with that bit of info we were off approx. 25min on his tuk tuk on some of the worst roads, traffic, smells and sites you will see. We saw 2 x bullock drawn carts on the road, past metal delivery motorbikes which exceeded their GVM.
People sitting on furniture while it was being moved via motorbike. It was a really fun trip.
Got to the Killing Fields, I don’t know what I was expecting from the entrance but it wasn’t what I saw felt like a normal place. Went inside, paid the entrance fee and got the audio headsets. I think the reality of the place kicked in as soon as you put the headsets on. These are an integral tool for this tour and well worth listening to.
The main audio was OK for the kids, if you wanted to hear more in depth on a section you were given that option. I listened to the first one and told Summer the kids cannot listen to these more in depth scenes. It was quiet as we followed the path, people listening to headsets just walking not making much eye contact with one and other. Very sombre. As you walk past the mass graves, you listen to the audio and it tells you to look down and you can see in the ground clothes and human remains coming to the surface from the recent rain. These are preserved sites but even on the footpath the same can be seen. Truly shocking, don’t know what was happening in the rest of the world at the time while Pol Pot had his years of terror in Cambodia. It was only 36 years ago. We moved through at a good pace and then the final stop is the Memorial Stupa this is where all the human skulls and bones that have been excavated and preserved are housed. This again is truly shocking as there are 4 levels within the Stupa of skulls, male, female and children and remember these are the ones that have been excavated. We all left a little quieter than we arrived and asked the kids if they were OK. They said they were OK so we left and found Mony outside and then visited the S21 Genocide Museum.
I found this place to be worse and more disturbing than the killing fields. Don’t know why, I think the pictures, the cells, the torture devices, they are all still there in this place that was once a school. To think this is the place where all the apparent intellectuals and government employees of Cambodia were brought to be tortured for information and eventually killed. Only 7 people survived this place. I also didn’t know that some Swedish government officials actually backed Pol Pot and his Khmer Rogue regime.
Left pondering how terrible life would have been in Cambodia during that time and how could Pol Pot just move over to Thailand and lead a normal life and the rest of his cronies brought to justice 20 plus years later?
Went to the tuk tuk café for lunch and then returned to the hotel at 1400 as it was boiling hot outside. Paid Mony for his service $30US he said this was too much $20-$25 was OK. He still took the $30 and offered to take me to the Muay Thai kick boxing that night free of charge. I accepted originally.
The girls got a couple of hours of school work in and then I went downstairs at 1700 to let Mony know that we would not be going to the boxing because we didn’t want to take the girls out at night. He was OK with this and said to call him if require any further tuk tuk. We then went out for dinner. This time I ordered a chicken Khmer Green Curry it came out served in a fresh coconut and rice on the side. I think this is the best dish I have tasted in some time, it is not like a Thai green curry. This was a little sweeter with enough curry aftertaste and every mouthful you wanted more. Summer and I reflected on the day and we were both grateful we went even though both sites are a terrible display of human behaviour. At least from here all the remaining tourists attractions in Cambodia are going to be pleasurable sites. Back to the room for another movie prior to bed.