I last posted when I arrived in Siem Reap, this final post from Cambodia is also coming from Siem Reap, as this is where I get my bus back to Bangkok tomorrow morning. Since my last post, I’ve visited many places, we left Siem Reap for Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, I didn’t think much of the city, too busy and very messy, I did a 16 km trek searching for some non-existent street art, which gave me a new set of blisters!
Before leaving Phnom Penh, we visited the infamous Khmer Rouge prison, S21 and the nearby Killing Fields, which seemed strange to find it in a peaceful lakeside location, both of them were very sobering visits and gave me an insight into the terrible events of the Khmer Rouge regime. This certainly was a different part of Cambodian history that should be remembered and never repeated.
We then made our way South to Kampot, a sleepy little riverside town, we arrived in time to board a riverboat for a sunset cruise, as usual we didn’t get to see a sunset but the cruise was very nice and relaxing. Fortunately the next day was a free day, which gave me the chance to have a bit of a lie in before a leisurely breakfast. Kampot is not too large, I wandered about to see what sights it had to offer. I eventually found some paint on walls in the town, most of it pretty basic , but there was a couple of really good pieces.Our final visit in the Kampot area was to the Kep Gardens on the outskirts of Kampot, this was a great visit, it was to a community education project, set up and run by an elderly Australian couple, we were shown round by Janiine and we then spent the next few hours teaching English to 6 and 7 year old kids, it really was great fun, I don’t know who enjoyed it most, the kids or us, I was blown away by how clever some of the kids were and how well they responded to us.
Following our visit to Kampot, we returned Phnom Penh, as we had a bit of a late night, there were a few sore heads first thing, mine included, I had a wee wander around the area in the afternoon as I didn’t really like the city much, my second visit didn’t change my mind. As I was leaving the group in the morning, we all gathered for our final dinner together, we chose Friends the Restaurant, a collective project restaurant where all the profits are returned to the community, it was a nice way to finish off our trip together.
As I said, I did however discover little pockets of good street art, only one or two in each place, but it was good to see that some are trying, despite the local government crackdown.
I was picked up in the morning and taken to the bus station, where Tra Tra and I boarded our Mekong Express Limousine coach to Siem Reap, my final destination in Cambodia. I’ve enjoyed my time here, it’s a country full of happy friendly people, despite the visible poverty, the only time we felt threatened was in Phnom Penh as we had been told there were bag snatchers about. The countryside and history is fascinating, it really good to spend some time amongst the villagers and normal expletive not jus the ones in the tourist pots.