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Phnom Penh
Before I got to Phnom Penh, all I really knew about it was that a friend of mine got jumped there (by three guys ... and he fought them all off. Go Phil and his tournament-level kung fu.) The city itself has a nicer feel than Thailand's capital, much smaller, quieter, less developed, with broad tree-lined streets and (crumbling) colonial architecture.

The must-see tourist attractions in the city are memorials to genocide. The Killing Fields are mass graves for thousands of people (out of the millions that died during the Khmer Rouge's time in power) and Tuol Sleng is a former high school, used by the Khmer Rouge as a mass prison and torture facility.

It's incredible to me that the Cambodian people haven't gotten even an attempt at closure. If I have this right, no senior Khmer Rouge officials have ever been tried for their crimes, largely because of their ties to the current government. Worse, I'm told that some young Cambodians don't believe what they're told about the Khmer Rouge years: "no way - how could anyone live on a single ball of rice a day?" well, they didn't.

From Phnom Penh I flew back to Bangkok, thence to Bali to spend some time in the waves.


last timestamped: 07:03:29 02-Apr-2008
in categories:Travel/Vagabond'08

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