Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh was our first stop in Cambodia, and after a long time in hostel dorms we decided to bankrupt ourselves and book a hotel room for three nights. A room with free Twinings tea, a fridge, no ants and scatter cushions, we didn’t know how to handle this new luxury. We began by sleeping for the rest of the day. That evening we headed to a nearby restaurant called Mok Mony, which I would recommend to anyone visiting Phnom Penh! The guy who runs it is super friendly and always busy as the restaurant is so popular. The food is really amazing, but if you happen to not like your order, it is replaced without charge and the unwanted food is kept for the local homeless at closing time. The owner also really helped us out a few days later when I wasn’t well; Blake went back to try and get us some takeaway curry and upon saying I was ill was sat down with a beer and given suggestions on what to order from the menu to best help my recovery. Back to the first night, however, we found some people to chat to at the hotel bar and after an hour moved to the speakeasy next door, disguised as a coca cola fridge next to the hotel entrance!

On our first full day in Phnom Penh, we visited the Royal Palace complex and National Museum, both really interesting but it was boiling hot! 

The next day we took a tuk tuk to the Killing Fields, a short drive outside town. It was extremely moving and a very emotional exhibit – I don’t think even knowing the facts of history prepares you to hear about the horrendous crimes committed so recently in Cambodia’s past. The route and audio guide were fantastic and I value it as one of the best historical tours I’ve ever experienced. Taking pictures didn’t feel right in such an emotive environment, so instead I would urge just a few minutes reading about the Killing Fields for yourself. 

Back in town we visited the Genocide Museum, but by this time I was fully succumbing to my cold so shortly after we headed back to the hotel for some rest (and aforementioned curry). 

The next day we moved on to the lovely but quiet town of Kampot.

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