Caroline and Sven's Geriatric OE 2012 travel blog

S21 interrogation and torture center rules and regulations

Wall upon wall of S21's victims documented.

Downtown Phnom Penh.

Sunset cruise on the Mekong river.

Sven's admirers - life is tough!

Ducks for sale in Takeo market.

Takeo market - fried bananas anyone?

Perhaps you would prefer your ducks already plucked?

Piglets for sale.

Proud owner of a new 1 speed bike, complete with basket and...


We have jumped from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok for a night, then a 1 hour flight to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  Arriving at Phnom Penh at 6 pm in 27 degree temperatures, we had a one hour tuktuk ride from the airport to our backpackers.  What an amazing ride - cars, motorbikes, tuktuks and  bicycles all passing and merging on unlaned roads, people everywhere in shops and roadside stalls selling everything imaginable.  Our oasis for two nights was Me Mates Place (run by guess which nationality?!)  

Although we had visited there before, we went again to S21, the torture and interrogation building where 20,000 lost their lives from 1975 - 1979 when the Khmer Rouge were in power.  Board upon board of photos identified the victims.  The appalling conditions they were kept in  and tortures meted out defies belief.  It is a very sobering place that leaves you quiet for some time.

After a quick visit to the Russian market- a whole block of market stalls selling absolutely everything, (luckily we are travelling with backpacks that are already full to the brim!) we wandered the streets of  Phnom Penh, soaking up the sights, sounds and smells.  We chilled out with a Chang beer by the river watching the world go by- oh life is tough!  Sven felt he deserved a foot massage  ($4) while I settled for a pedicure ($2).  

Cambodia has approximately 12 million people, and uses US $ as well as Riel (one US $ = 4,000 Riel).  The people are very friendly and helpful.  We have remembered how to cross the road here - walk slowly but steadily out into the road and miraculously  all the cars, motorbikes and tuktuks swerve around you.

A 2 hour bus ride has brought us to Takeo where the orphanage is.  We had a quick visit there to meet the delightful children - more about that next time. We spent today buying ourselves a bike (will donate it to a child once we leave) and exploring our "home" for the next few weeks.  I will attach photos of Takeo - they will explain more than words.



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