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Thursday, 5 August 2010

Day 105: Keeping it Riel

You have read correctly; without any sort of visa-based disaster on this border-crossing we have made it into Cambodia! Hurrah! We weren't even ripped off, what a bonus...

We have been very busy since arriving on Phnom Penh indeed; visiting the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek straight off the night bus which was something of a sombre awakening in many respects. This blog isn't about regurgitating history, but it was harrowing to see the skulls of thousands of Cambodians who were killed by Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge recently as the 70's.

Following their reign of terror, which deliberately wiped out the intellectual population of Cambodia - a tally that reaches around 2 million of Cambodia's then-total population of 7 million - the nation now has an average age of 22. Twenty two. It's a young country, a war-torn country - and you can see this walking the streets.

But what I've also enjoyed seeing is that this is a proud nation; the architecture is the most beautiful I've seen. Ornate Pagodas sit aside ultra modern hotel complexes and tarpaulin market stalls with ease. And everyone is smiling.

As well as sampling the local specialty - specialty beer that is - Angkor, at around 2000 Riel (ahh yes, that's the reason for the obscure title spelling) or 30p a pop, we've been exploring the city at large, and loving every moment.

First impressions of Cambodia are more than favourable; they're bloody fantastic. The photos are up so why not have a browse yourself and see what we mean?

1 comment:

  1. Trish says

    Can't quite get used to the cropped look, Rob - makes you look so much younger! You both look fantastic, but could you stop losing weight now please???? Cambodia has definitely moved up my list of places to visit - absolutely fantastic!

    Skype soon? xx