Your text to link here...http://<div id='travellerspoint-map726731_992615'><InvalidTag (< ERROR: the link title is too long!)February 17
Trying very hard to pack light! I was able to pack my clothes into on medium packing cube....pretty proud of that! My clothes weighed only 4 kilograms. .
Total weight of my backpack is 12 kilograms.
February 18 - 20
I was lucky to have a friend offer me a ride to the airport. However, I had to go via Victoria to see the Victoria Boat Show. The Vancouver to Hong Kong leg of the trip was 50 minutes late but went smoothly. Cathay Pacific airlines is awesome...lots of leg room, great food, and the movies are awesome.
Leaving late meant that it was a mad dash for my connecting flight to Phnom Phen. We had to take a train and a bus to another terminal. Thank God they held the plane for three of us!
Arrived in Phnom Phen to 35 celsius. Stood in line to get my visa, it was a realitively painless ordeal. Met my hotel transfer and we braved the traffic. Like Vietnam, traffic here is hurendous! Scooter pushing their way in, vehicles driving making their own lane.
After 20 plus hours of travelling, I finally got to my hotel. Headed off to explore after I showered. The Russian market is a popular covered market that earned its nickname in the 1980's, when wives and daughters of Russian diplomats would shop there. This market has everything....from underwear to motorbike engines and parts. I had an early dinner. It was delish and only cost me $1.50 US.
After dinner, I headed back to my room and slid into bed. For those who don't know me well, this is unusual because I am night owl! I was exhausted!!!
After a great rest, I headed down to breakfast. Found a tuk tuk that would give me a tour of the city for $25.
First stop was Wat Phnom. The legend states a wealthy woman named Penh found four statues of the Buddha hidden in a tree floating down the river. She built the hill and commissioned the sanctuary to house them Phnom Penh means "Hill of Penh".
I then headed over to the National Museum. It houses relics that have survived war and genocide.
A Palm-shaped central courtyard with lotus ponds houses the museum's showpiece: a sandstone statue of the Hindu god Yama, the Leper King, housed in a pavilion.
Look closely, the body of the elephant is the tree.
Next stop was the Royal Palace. It's a walled complex and it covers several blocks.
Within the Royal Palace grounds, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is located. The temple is referred as the Silver Pagoda because of the 5,329 silver tiles that makes up the floor in the may the main temple hall.
From there I stopped at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, also known as S-21. The Museum is a horrific reminder of the what humans are capable of. It was once a neighbourhood school until the building was seized by the Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge and turned into a prison and interrogation centre.
The prison has been left as they were when the Khmer Rouge left it in January 1979.
The last stop was the Killing Fields. In the mid to late 1970s thousands of Khmer Rouge prisoner who had been tortured at the Tuol Sleng prison were taken to the Choeung Ek extermination camp (Killing Fields) for execution. A monumental glass stupa was built in 1989 and is filled with 8,000 skulls which were exhumed from mass graves nearby.
A mass grave
Bones, clothes, and teeth still occasionally appear in the mass graves. It is an extremely disturbing sight and I walked away from the last two places with a very heavy heart.