A brief stop in Phnom Penh learning about Cambodia’s difficult history

Our stop in Phnom Penh was very brief as we weren’t too interested in another city when there was countryside waiting for us at the next place. 

We arrived on the night bus shortly before sunrise and wandered over to the hostel we were staying at that evening. Unfortunately we weren’t able to check in until 1pm and we had to wait until after 7am for the staff to wake up and let us know if we could leave our bags. There was an excitable dog in the bar who seemed desperate to lick our faces the whole time so at least I was entertained while Mark tried to take a nap.

What we managed to do while we were in Phnom Penh was learn about Cambodia’s dark history when the Khmer Rouge got into power in 1975. It’s hard to believe that the people of Cambodia lived through such tough times and still managed to come out of it with such positive attitudes. Every Cambodian we’ve met so far has been so friendly and happy and even people who lost several family members during that time were still full of life. It was really difficult visiting the Killing Fields and learning about just what happened, but it makes you love the Cambodian people you meet who are so positive even more. The school was even more difficult to visit where so many people were tortured and forced to write and sign false confessions claiming they were spies or had committed crimes against the country, especially since there were so many photos of the victims surrounding the site.

We left Phnom Penh the next morning glad to know a bit more about Cambodia and sad for a country which has suffered a huge amount in very recent history. 

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