I fell a little sick in Phnom Penh... under the weather.

Phnom Penh is a really nice city to walk in... well apart from the fact that it's blazing hot... there are all these wide promenades which are not chock-full with cars (although, admittedly it was a public holiday). Still, I really doubted if the streets would ever be full because they're really wide.

We walked past the Embassy district, down to exotic sounding roads like Blvd Charles de Gaulle, Norodom Blvd and Mao Tse-Toung Blvd. We also saw a massive independence memorial commemorating independence... near which we found a nice restaurant with the best fruit juice.

Went to the supermarket (seemed to be the only one in town), and also found a betting store... where it was tempting to bet on the match for the night. The city never once gave me the impression that it was a very poor city, and perhaps the fact that it is not really faced yet with urban overcrowding (I believe it's 1 million in the city) really did mean the city still retained a bit of its charm.

An interesting highlight was the Tuol Sleng museum of torture, where Pol Pot had one of his concentration camps, or at least interrogation centre. Now we happened to be in the city on the 17th of April, which happened to be the 30th anniversary of the "liberation" of Phnom Penh by the Khmer Rouge...

The camp, which was once a high school, looked normal enough, well apart from the barbed wire surrounding it. It is a little spooky, in the way old high schools are spooky. I must say that the displays and the explanations were really good, and they really did try to convey a sense of "never again". You could see the faces of all the poor victims and the horrible instruments of torture which were used... I've never been to Auschwitz or Belsen... but I'm sure you can't compare the scale of horror like that.

We also went to the "killing fields", at Choeung Ek... but by then I guess it didn't really strike us... not the tower of skulls... or the sites where they bludgeoned people to death... because at Tuol Sleng, they had really touching stories and in the end... it's the story which matters... the stories of lives, because if you just display dead skulls they're just skulls... you never knew what was in them.

Phnom Penh at night was also really cool... we perhaps stumbled upon a bar district, which looked pretty sedate, because many places are still closed because of Hun Sen's ban on certain nightspots (after people started shooting each other). We didn't encounter anything really bad, although probably in other spots in the city there would be the red light district with the child prostitution and all that.

I must commend our guest house, "The Last Home", for their tremendous hospitality, their lovely little cafe where I could sit and read... lovely drinks and food... and we did share a bond! They loved watching Singaporean Chinese drama serials. Yay! We're exporting our culture.

We also got some good advice which told us to take the bus straight to Saigon (I prefer that name), via Bavet and Moc Bai. Originally I did want to take the boat crossing into Chau Doc to see what the Mekong Delta was all about (you know, great river and all), but we were advised that the Mekong was just some muddy water and it was low-water season anyway.

We continued down NH6 to Bavet... and we got a bit of the "Wild West", no-man's land experience there...

On the way we managed to cross the Mekong too! We got onto a ro-ro(roll-on roll-off) partially sponsored by the Danish government, which our bus drove on to, together with hundred of other Cambodians... well, the Mekong is a muddy river, but it's a really wide one...

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