Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Vietnam to Cambodia - a quick summary

Arriving in Saigon/HCMC we made a quick transition to the War Remnants Museum, after organising our transport to Phnom Phen. The museum is largely devoted to the Vietnam war and was totally amazing, making us appreciate and realise even more the resilience of the beautiful Vietnamese people.
After that a beer was required and the venue was the Rex hotel, apparently a fav of the US officers stationed in Saigon - not that that was a selling point. Very camp, very 50s, and pulsing with wedding fever - one wedding each floor - wedding season Vietnam cashed up style. Marie and I had a Saigon Iced Tea, Rob his stock standard if not over inflated Tiger beer. Dinner Lemongrass restaurant - gorgeous Viet dinner, amazing view. Next morning early call for Cambodia!

Ok Ok quick summary - I'm trying!

Six hours on a bus to Phnom Phen - we were met by a relo of a friend and were soon in our hotel despite thinking 20 Tuk Tuk drivers were him. A beer or two later all our Cambodian friends arrived on mass, organising our forth coming days and catching up - all 13 or so of them. Dinner later via a few sites with our Tuk Tuk driver Hua, and an early night given our plans for the following day.

Khon and the convoy picked us ap after breakfast and we headed for the Killing Fields. Her and Urn her sister told us of their stories of flight in the Pol Pot era, as very young children - 8 and 11 respectively - all very harrowing, amazing. Killing Fields and their stories among thousands of other unheard voices, all I will say is it was totally gruesome and disturbing and I can't believe this was allowed to happen again - obviously WWII lessons were not learned. And to be with survivors of this horrid regime made it all very real - as did the S - 21 prison - right at the end of the street we are staying. Lost for words!!!!! Wake up world!
Cambodians - so happy such lovely people in the face of an horrific recent history.

Off to Angkor Wat tomorrow with the Cambodian troop - lots of fun to be had I am sure, and lots of lessons to be learned as well!

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