Cambodia
Phumĭ Prey Sâmbuŏr

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17 travelers at this place:

  • Day59

    Phnom Penh, Cambodia

    February 20, 2017 in Cambodia ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    To get to Cambodia's capital from Vietnam, we took a bus across the border. The border crossing was quite the experience as we waited in a large open warehouse building that looked like it was decorated for Halloween with the amount of spider webs hanging from the ceiling. The only system that existed was to push your way past the cluster of people and hand your documents with some money inside to the immigration official in order to quickly get a stamp to cross the border. We paid our bus representative $2 each for this "expedite" service as did all the other passengers on the bus however I think he pocketed all the money or didn't pay enough since our group was the last through but not the last to arrive. Once that experience was done, we got back on the bus for a few more hours of driving. It was evident that the countryside of Cambodia was quite a bit different from anything we saw in Vietnam, almost reminding us a bit of India. The poverty was visible where as in Vietnam it wasn't noticeable even in the rural parts; maybe a clear difference between a socialist community and a democratic one.

    Once we arrived to the city, we were aggressively harassed by every tuk tuk driver for a ride, more so than any other country we've been to, so we refused out of principle and sat down at happy hour for a few beers at 75 cents each and then walked off the beer on our way to our hotel.

    The following day we visited S-21 and the killing fields which are now educational sites capturing the genocide of the Khmer Rouge. In less than 5 years during the late 1970's, this political party led by Pol Pot was responsible for around 2 million deaths in a country with only 8 million people. The Khmer Rouge wanted to reset their society to what they called "year 0", free of modern influences and back to the old ways of farming instead of city life, so entire cities were relocated to rural areas where high production rates were demanded with harsh living conditions. A monetary system was no longer used and any intellectuals were considered threats to their vision, so anyone with glasses or a doctor or lawyer or other threat was detained, interrogated, and tortured in places like S-21 which was an old school turned into a prison. Once the prisoners admitted to usually a false accusation, they would be sent to the killing fields to be killed.

    The killing fields captured the reality of the crimes since they have built a mausoleum that houses the piles of bones and skulls collected on site. Nearly every skull in the monument had a missing chunk of bone since the victims were generally killed by blunt force to the head. Bullets or other means were not used since that would be too expensive and loud.

    All around the site there were craters in the ground which were the mass graves found that still unearth remains from the victims today. The Khmer Rouge would kill an entire family that was a threat, with one of their slogans being "to dig up the grass you must remove even the roots", which led to probably the saddest part of the tour, the killing tree. This was a tree where babies would be killed by being struck against the trunk of the tree, which is now dedicated in memory to the youngest victims.

    Both sites were disturbing but preserved with pictures and artifacts to allow us to learn about this horrific time in Cambodia's history. The most shocking part to us was how little this is talked about in the US and how recent this atrocity occurred. The fact that a quarter of a nation's population was killed less than a decade before we were born in an era with modern communication is still a bit unreal. We're glad we were able to learn more about this and hopefully pass on the awareness to those reading our posts!
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  • Day98

    Phnom Penh, Cambodia

    June 29, 2015 in Cambodia ⋅ ☀️ 35 °C

    Vanaf Vietnam gaan we naar de hoofdstad van Cambodja. In de stad zien wij met name mooie tempels, en door de hele stad zie je monniken lopen met hun mooie oranje gewaden. Soms wel met hun smartphone in hun hand. Er is natuurlijk niks mis met dat zij mee gaan met de tijd, maar wij moesten ons beeld van een monnik aanpassen.

    Waar het land nog steeds van aan het herstellen is, is de genocide onder het regime van Pol Pot (1975 - 1978). Om ook deze kant van het land te zien gaan we naar een gevangenis, martelkamer en de 'killing fields'. Er is werkelijk niemand levend vandaag gekomen. Alle geleerden, mensen met een bril, mensen zonder ruwe handen, mensen die een andere taal spraken zijn daar eerst gemarteld voor een bekentenis om vervolgens naar een veld gebracht te worden waar iedereen werd vermoord. Zijn doel was om te beginnen met het jaar 0 en alleen ongeleerden mochten blijven leven om het land te bewerken, maar hij heeft uiteindelijk ook veel onschuldige mensen vermoord. Als iemand had bekend in de martelkamer ( wat uiteindelijk iedereen deed na de martelpraktijken ) werd ook je hele familie vermoord inclusief de kinderen. De killing fields liggen zo vol, dat er nog steeds kledingstukken en botten aan de opervlakte te voorschijn komen. Dit heeft enorm veel indruk op ons gemaakt. We hebben namelijk nog niets eens beschreven wat de regels waren in de gevangenis en hoe de mensen werden vermoord... de rillingen lopen nog steeds over onze rug als we er aan denken. Maar de Cambodjanen geven de moed niet op. Het zijn lieve en vrolijke mensen. Het valt ons op dat ze veel lol hebben onder elkaar en dat ze erg goed hun siesta kunnen houden op hun brommer.
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  • Day105

    Phnom Penh - Cambodja

    December 14, 2016 in Cambodia ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Het volgende land waar we heen gaan is Cambodja. Met de bus zijn we van Ho Chi Minh naar Phnom Penh gereden, beetje chaotisch bij de grens maar uiteindelijk hadden we een visum! Phnom Penh is de hoofdstad en staat momenteel vooral bekend vanwege de indrukwekkende musea over de genocide in Cambodja, uitgevoerd door de Rode Khmer onder leiding van Pol Pot. Deze genocide duurde van 1975 tot 1979 en kostte 1,7 miljoen mensen het leven. We zijn naar een oude 'martelgevangenis' geweest en naar de 'killingfields'. Het enige wat ik er over kan zeggen is gruwelijk, tijdens het horen en lezen van verhalen krijg je gewoon kippenvel. Het was heel erg indrukwekkend.Read more

  • Day309

    Phnom Penh

    February 12, 2016 in Cambodia ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Nach den absolut genialen und faszinierenden Tagen in Angkor Wat geht es mit dem Bus mühsam in die Hauptstadt Kambodschas, Phnom Penh.
    Laut, chaotisch, viel Müll, aber dennoch spannend auf Grund der Paläste und Zeugnisse aus der Khmer Rouge Zeit bot uns Phnom Penh eine nette Abwechslung. Uns wird vor allem das ehemalige Gefängnis der Roten Khmer Militärs in Erinnerung bleiben. Das Museum erinnert an die unfassbaren Grausamkeiten an der Zivilbevölkerung vor nicht mal 40 Jahren und brennt sich regelrecht in das Gedächtnis. Man verlässt das Museum mit einem sehr mullmigen Gefühl und kann sich kaum vorstellen, dass Menschen aus ideologischen Gründen zu sowas fähig sind.Read more

  • Day32

    Cambodja: Phnom Penh

    August 15, 2015 in Cambodia ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    Het is even wennen, weer een nieuw land, 2 nieuwe valuta (US Dollar en Cambodjaanse Riel), nieuwe woorden die we moeten leren (Or-kuhn = dankjewel).

    Er zijn 3 must do's in deze stad: Tuol Sleng (gevangenis waar mensen gemarteld zijn in de jaren '70 door het regime van Pol Pot), de Killing Fields (waar dezelfde mensen zijn gedumpt in massagraven). En minder belangrijk volgens Mike: het Royal Palace.

    Met name de recente geschiedenis van Cambodja, de Rode Khmer, de genocide en de bedenkelijke opstelling van 'het westen' ten aanzien van dit alles is moeilijk te bevatten. Nu op naar een mooier stukje geschiedenis (qua architectuur dan).
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  • Day113

    Phnom Penh, KHM

    December 21, 2016 in Cambodia ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Weiter ging die Reise nach Phnom Penh, die Hauptstadt Kambodschas. Die Fahrt dauerte ca. sechs Stunden und war ganz gut. In Phnom Penh haben wir die sogenannten Killing Fields und ein Gefängnis, welches zu einem Museum 'umgestaltet' wurde, besichtigt. Diese zwei 'Sehenswürdigkeiten' brachten einem die schreckliche Vergangenheit von Kambodscha näher und wir waren zutiefst erschüttert was wir dort zu sehen und hören bekommen hatten. Es ist unglaublich traurig zu was Menschen im Stande sind. Seit wir durch Asien reisen, schätzen wir beide das Leben zuhause sehr und werden immer wieder daran erinnert, wie schön wir es haben und wie gut es uns geht. Aber nach diesem Tag wussten wir es noch viel mehr zu schätzen!Read more

  • Day32

    Silk weaving Phnom Penh, Cambodia

    February 11, 2016 in Cambodia ⋅ 🌙 29 °C

    Everybody knows they weave silk here but when you see the fineness of the thread and the complexities of the loom it's mind blowing! A few examples but the photos do not do justice to the vibrant colours.

  • Day6

    Le génocide des Khmers rouges

    March 7, 2016 in Cambodia ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    Comment exprimer l'horreur vécue par la population lors de l'invasion des Khmers rouges? Peut-on imaginer le degré de violence humaine? sans limites....

    À Phnom Penh, 2 musées sont consacrés à cette tragique histoire du Cambodge, 2 endroits stratégiques servant en même temps de lieu de commémoration et de recueillement, ainsi que de sensibilisation et d'information envers le grand public. Entre les années 1975 et 1979, les Khmers rouges dominaient le pays d'une main de fer. Leurs principaux leaders, PolPot et Duch pour ne nommer qu'eux, ont dirigé l'un des plus grands génocides du monde... quasiment 2 millions de morts par famine, maladie, exécutions et tortures... une terreur qui glace le dos de tous les visiteurs. Non ce n'est pas de l'exhibition de violence mais une volonté d'informer, d'ancrer un choc émotionnel profond pour que plus jamais de telles atrocités ne puissent se renouveller.

    Se revendiquant comme parti révolutionnaire, les Khmers rouges ont envahis les principales villes avec comme intention de créer un peuple pur ayant la même idéologie, digne du peuple Khmers... une forme d'eugénisme asiatique et communiste. Tous les opposants, les intellectuels, les étrangers, ainsi que les membres de leurs familles, furent torturés et exécutés... La paranoïa gagna également du terrain au sein des dirigeants et fut une des causes majeures de l'effondrement du parti Kampuchea.

    Chaque visiteur possède son propre audioguide pour réaliser la visite. Une atmosphère mixant angoisse, tristesse, curiosité et indigation règne au sein des bâtiments. Ces visites poignantes nous laissent la gorge nouée... Amande achetera par la suite un roman célèbre de François Bizot, Le portail, narrant la vie d'un ancien détenu, afin d'approfondir nos connaissances sur cette histoire cambodgienne tragique.
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  • Day183

    Phnom Penh, Cambodia

    March 4, 2016 in Cambodia ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    After a long and tiring journey, we landed in Siem Reap and caught up on some much needed sleep in the Siem Reap Hostel. Next morning the five of us piled into a tuk tuk with our rucksacks and headed to Angkor Breeze Guesthouse. The tuk tuk driver had a bit of difficulty finding the hotel and we drove up and down the same road numerous times looking for the correct turn. After the third or fourth time, people sitting in the restaurants were laughing and waving at us, probably wondering what kinda crowd we were. To add to the dramatic drive, at one point when we were doing a u-turn, one of the rucksacks fell off the tuk tuk. As we shouted 'bag down', the driver jammed on the brakes so we could retrieve it. We were glad to eventually arrive in Angkor Breeze, with all our possessions intact! Next we went for brunch at the lovely 'Blue Pumpkin' before getting a tuk tuk back to the airport. We caused a bit of a stir as we stood in arrivals with our personalised signs, singing and dancing while we waited for Jess, Margaux and Mollie to arrive. After a beautiful reunion, we went back to Angkor Breeze where we sat and chatted for hours, catching up on all our life stories. That evening we had dinner in the lovely Khmer Family restaurant on Pub street, where we had our first taste of Cambodian cuisine.
    Next day, after returning to the 'Blue Pumpkin' for breakfast, Nina and I went for a walk around the city and visited the local markets and the Wat Preah Prom Rath temple. That evening we all got a tuk tuk to Angkor Wat and watched the beautiful sunset at the temple, built in the 12th century.
    Next morning, while the girls went to attempt to watch the sunrise on a hot air balloon, Nina and I got a tuk tuk back to Angkor Wat at 5.30am to watch the sunrise inside the temple. There was such a peaceful and spiritual atmosphere as we watched the colour of the sky change from purple, dark blue, red and orange as the sun rose. We walked around the temple and took in the amazing views. Next we got a tuk tuk tour with our guide Dara who drove us to various temples in the National Park. First stop was the Bayon Temple which was made up of pillars with four faces facing North, South, East and West. Next we visited Ta Keo temple which translates as 'crystal grandfather' with very steep steps up to the top. Then we visited Ta Prohm which was made famous in the Tomb Raider film with the tree branches and trunks growing through the walls of the temple. Our final stop before returning to town was the Banteay Kdei temple which was made up of multiple square chambers. It was really interesting visiting different styles of temples and seeing different features of each one. That evening we revisited the Khmer Family restaurant for another lovely dinner.
    After an emotional goodbye to Roisin, Margaux and Laura, we got the VIP minibus along the bumpy road to Phnom Penh, where we stayed in the Mad Monkey Hostel.
    We had an educational filled day visiting the Tuol Sleng Genocide museum and the Chaeung Ek Killing Fields. During the audio tours we learned about the genocide that occurred from 1975-1979 during the Khmer Rouge Regime. The graphic details and stories were really stomach renching and upsetting, learning about how over 20000 people were killed.
    That evening we went to 'Friends the restaurant' for Asian and Western style tapas. The restaurant is NGO run and serve some amazing food, with the profits being invested into social projects for young people.
    Next day we hit the spa for manicures and pedicures, before we had another emotional goodbye to Jess who was off back to Singapore. That evening we had a cheap trip to the cinema ($3) in Aeon mall to watch Ryan Reynolds in 'Deadpool'.
    The following day, Nina and I visited the National History Museum where we learned about the ancient history of Cambodia. Then we went to the Royal Palace and walked around the beautiful grounds and visited various temples and buildings. That evening we went to the Mount Everest for a lovely Indian dinner. The staff were very helpful and we got lots of food. We were each given a glass of water which the staff were constantly refilling it. Once you had taken one mouthful the glass was topped up immediately. No trouble of being dehydrated anyways. To finish off the lovely meal, we were given free banana slices for dessert.
    Next morning after breakfast, we said farewell to Mollie, Kate and Rory before Edel, Nina and I got the Great Ibis bus across the border to Vietnam.
    Cambodia was a beautiful country and surprisingly one of my favourite we've visited on the trip. Obviously the uniting of old and new Irish friends made it extra special and fun times were had all round.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Phumĭ Prey Sâmbuŏr, Phumi Prey Sambuor

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