January 7, 2015
After spent a night at Top Banana Guesthouse & Rooftop Bar, I could enjoy morning situation at Phnom Penh around guesthouse.
Quiet in the morning around guesthouse
After took a bath and packing, I had breakfast at guesthouse bar:
Just chose your food or drink…. many menu here
No more wasted time, I rushed to venues. I would visited two main venues in Phnom Penh. My limit time was 14:30, it was time for Mekong Express Bus would departed from Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
For saved my time, I decided to hired a Tuk Tuk service for USD 20 for visited two venues and the last one it would deliver me to Mekong Express bus shelter. For information, initially Tuk Tuk driver offered USD 25 for his service, but I could bid the price until USD 20.
Okay trip began…. Tuk Tuk moved to south as far as 17 km. After passed dusty road for 45 minutes, I arrived at:
1. Choeung Ek Genocidal Center
Building where victims’ skulls, tools were used for massacre, some remaining Khmer Rouge soldier uniforms and victim’s clothes were stored
This was Cambodian massacres location. It did by their own leader, Pol Pot. According to data from here, it said that 1 of 4 Cambodians were killed by Pol Pot.
Ticket fee was USD 3. You would get a headset that provided various language options to hearing an explanation of each spot you would visit. And I chose Malay language language to easily understood history of the place.
Each visitor would focus with their headset. Some of them were sobbing crying alone
Even I saw Australian sobbing cried because they heard that a Australian became a victim at that moment.
In every spot would be provided audio number and you must adjusted with number on remote that you held.
Victims were found in mass grave.
Khmer Rouge forces set musics loudly on this tree to covered sounds of torture and slaughter
Remains of victim’s bones and teeth were often seen during rainy season.
I can’t told one by one guys ….. Hopefully you who haven’t gone yet, would get a chance to visited it later.
After got around it almost 1.5 hours, I thought that was lost my Tuk-Tuk driver. I looked for him and I didn’t remember where he was waiting. After 15 minutes finally I met him. For you, better you made appointment where you can met him after sightseeing.
Next destination was at north as far as 12 km and tuk-tuk could reach it for 30 minutes. Here was the place:
2. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Front of former school was made a museum by government of Cambodia.
Museum ticket fee was USD 3. It was victim’s temporary shelter before were executed at Choeung Ek Genocidal Center. During waiting period, prisoners would be forcibly employed by Khmer Rouge government. Victims were generally opposed on thinking and idealism with Khmer Rouge government under Pol Pot’s leadership.
Touched to saw mother’s face and her child, they were both potential victims who newly entering in jail and were recorded their identity.
Prison and cuffs for them
The prison were surely identical with torture. But I didn’t need to showed picture of it….I wasn’t strong for saw it.
At last part of museum, there were several booksellers about Pol Pot and story of some survivors from this tragedy although they were scheduled for execution.
Okay …. time got closer to 14 o’clock. It was time for me to went to Mekong Express pool for trip towards Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.
The bus shelter was 5 km north of museum. It took 20 minutes to got there. Even tuk tuk driver didn’t know where Mekong Express shelter location. I tried to showed location on map, he still didn’t understand. Finally I asked to residents and one of them finally knew and showed where it was located to him.
When arrived, tuk tuk driver asked for more tip USD 2. Yes. I gave him
Mekong Express office on National Highway 5. I could see several destination cities.
When entering Mekong Express office …. Their staff confidently served me with spoke Khmer…. I was speechless …. She asked me three times. I just said that I was a tourist and had booked seat by email while showing a passport. She laught and apologized to me. She said my face like Cambodian… Cause of it we were be familiar.
Ticket that I booked from Jakarta for USD 14 / passenger
While waiting for bus that would depart 1 hour later. I decided to had lunch at stall across street in front of bus shelter. I ate fish soup with rice for USD 1 …. very cheap.
After finished, I went to Vietnam.
Bus ready departed
I even relaxed in front of shelter. Though bus was on boarding time behind it. I thought bus would be boarding in front of the shelter. When I got into bus…. staff who handled boarding said …. “Where are you, I look for you to boarding”, while smile and patted my shoulder …. “” I’m sorry mam. ..I’m at the front “.
My trip went left Phnom Penh and towards Ho Chi Minh will tell in separate part…..