More Phnom Penh

Still in the city of Phnom Penh in Cambodia.

I am in a semi-big city again. I figure it would be a good time to try my luck again at finding yoga pants for my upcoming yoga retreat. I wander around town by foot trying to use maps.me and using up my precious data for google maps to find a place to shop. I end up at a high end mall in the basement of a casino where I STILL CANNOT FIND YOGA PANTS. But the place is air conditioned and a nice place to use the bathroom. I give up on the yoga pants. Maybe some place in Bali should have some I can buy??

*Trigger Warning : Genocide

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

I won’t go into a history lesson but if you aren’t familiar with the Khmer Rouge and the 1970s please google it. It wasn’t widely discussed in my school. I am just familiar with it because as an adult I am a curious reader and read the book First They Killed My Father. From the book I was curious to learn more so I watched history programs and read things on the internet.

Basically during the late 1970’s the Communist Party of Kampuchea government under the direction of Pol Pot systematically killed close to 2 million people. Many were killed in what is called “The killing fields” (there is a famous movie by the same name which I also saw a long time ago). As a visitor you can visit the killing fields and I heard it is very emotional. I chose not to visit because I did not feel comfortable going there. I did however visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, the former jail where many prisoners were held, questioned and tortured.

I took audio tour with very detailed stories. It was sad and very painful to listen to.

The final rooms of the tour contain pictures of those detained and tortured in the facility (I took no photos of these).

Very small cells

I think the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is an important visit in Phnom Penh not to glamorize the location but for us as humans to understand what horrors can happen if tyrannical governments are left unchecked. The 1970’s were not too long ago in the grand scheme of time.

Cambodia River Cruise

To lighten up the end of my trip I booked a sunset river cruise along the area where the Mekong meets the Tonle Sap River.

It is a nice a peaceful way to end my trip to Cambodia. There is of course so much I didn’t see so I hope some day to return.

Siem Reap Dinner

Banana Pancake

After my long day of sightseeing I catch dinner around the corner at The Christa Restaurant & Bar where I get to try Cambodian style curry. It is quite good.

Khmer Curry with chicken.

I call it an early night.

Next Day

I could do another day of sightseeing today but I instead choose to stay close to my hotel.

I start the day at the breakfast buffet at the hotel. They missed me yesterday since I woke up so early to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat.

I am exhausted from the heat and traveling so I book a massage through my hotel and because it is Cambodia it is very affordable. The female masseuse comes to my room. We don’t speak each other’s language which doesn’t matter too much except I want to make sure she doesn’t do any back/hand/whatever cracking like what happened in Thailand. I try to communicate this in mime and not sure she understands but fortunately my massage had no cracking and was just what I needed.

Afterwards I decide to take advantage of the pool. It is small but only enhabited by two others who don’t stay long. The laps I do are refreshing but once I get my fill I decide I need to go try to find yoga pants for my yoga retreat I have scheduled in about a week. Unfortunately I am a terrible shopper in my home country and even worse in a foreign country. I cannot find yoga pants. It is hot so I give up.

I spend the evening exploring pub street instead.

I settle on a restaurant with balcony seating where I get to try Fish Amok at Traditional Khmer Food Restaurant. The balcony over looks a narrow alley with stores and other restaurants. Not a ton of foot traffic but it keeps me sort of entertained while I eat.

Fish Amok (fish with traditional Cambodian curry made lemongrass, chilli, coconut milk and amok “ngor” leaves, served in banana leaf)
Shrimp appetizer

Tomorrow is my birthday and I have nothing planned. I decide I need to go back to my room and make some sort of plans for tomorrow.

pub street area