Phnom Penh

We woke early in the morning and headed downstairs to schedule a Tuk Tuk driver for the day. Tuk Tuk’s have many different names throughout the world but they all refer to the same thing, a motor taxi with three wheels. Since we would only be spending one day we decided to get ourselves a driver to show us around the city. 

Before heading out we stopped to get some breakfast. We found a nice little restaurant that opened up to the street. Two things that surprised us when we started looking around the restaurant was that the prices were all listed in American currency and the menu was heavily based around American and French cuisine. (I would later learn that the French and Americans have had a huge impact throughout South East Asia. Also American currency is more more stable than local currencies so it is more popular.)

Cambodian Steet
Street where we had our breakfast
Cambodian Money
Change from breakfast
Tuk Tuk driver
Our Tuk Tuk driver

After breakfast we returned back to the hotel to meet our Tuk Tuk driver and then headed off for our first day in Cambodia. 
When I first decided to travel I thought that it would be best to find a book based in each country I was visiting and this book started us off on the journey for the day. For Cambodia, it was recommended that I read First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers (A great read, I recommend it) by Loung Ung which tells the real life story of Loung’s childhood under the Khmer Rogue. By the time they were removed from power, they had managed to kill almost a quarter of the population. Mass graves are scattered all over the country and our first stop in Siem Reap was one of the larger sites right outside of the city.

Khmer Rouge Monument
Monument to those that died under Pol Pot’s regime
Mass Grave Skulls
Inside of the monument

During high school history, I read so much about different atrocities and I felt so desensitized after spending years learning about different atrocities committed throughout history. This was the first time I got a first hand look and it was incredibly moving. 

After taking a long break to digest what we had seen, we got back into our Tuk Tuk and headed off to our next stop.  
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