Heartbroken in Phnom Penh

January 31, 2015

After four days of history musings and adventures in Vietnam, we've decided to head on our next destination, Cambodia! It would be a very long travel via bus to reach Siem Reap from Ho Chi Minh, so that was why we chose to explore Phnom Penh for a day. We still spent 6 hours in the bus from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh, and paid US $14/pax. 

We found a tuktuk driver in the bus terminal of Phnom Penh, and booked him for a quick tour around the place before we head to our hostel. The Mad Monkey Hostel was a bit far. We paid US $20 to the tuktuk driver, including the tour.
tuktuk tour
We started our tour by visiting the Royal Palace. This is a complex which is the residence of the king of Cambodia. There is a dress code in this place, so when you visit, make sure that you are appropriately dressed. I was wearing a pair of shorts, and sleeveless top, I wasn't allowed entry. :P I had to change, and then proceeded to explore the complex. We paid US $3/pax.
big smile at the Royal Palace
We found several structures and buildings inside the complex. Few of these are the Throne Hall, Phochani Pavilion and the Hor Samran Phirun. The Throne Hall is used for official events and diplomatic meetings, even up to this day! On the other hand, the Hor Samran Phirun is known as the "pavilion where one sleeps peacefully." This is the royal rest house.
Throne Hall
Phochani Pavilion
Hor Samran Phirun
We moved to another area of the complex to find the Silver Pagoda. The floor of the pagoda is made up of silver, thus it is called as Silver Pagoda.
Silver Pagoda
another angle of the Silver Pagoda
Not touristy, but we also visited the Killing Fields. This was where the Khmer Rouge executed a lot of people. The Khmer Rouge pushed for social reform through creating an agrarian-based society. I have no words to describe the feeling I had during the visit. We found bones, lots of human bones in the commemorative stupa. I decided not to take a photo of this one. But it was heartbreaking. 
We paid US $5/pax, which includes the audio equipment for the tour. These narrated the events following that regime. I mourned for these people. 
detention area
the mass grave
bones and teeth fragments
Killing Fields pathway
We were only able to visit the Royal Palace and the Killing Fields. It was late already when we finished exploring the Killing Fields so we decided to head on our hostel. There are places that when you visit, you leave with a heavy heart. The Killing Fields is definitely one of them.

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