Bernd and I were joined in Phnom Penh by my sister Amanda, who I hadn’t seen in almost 2 years. That’s us above, very sweaty in a tuk tuk. We had a great time catching up, sightseeing, swimming in our Airbnb’s rooftop pool and relaxing (we watched the entire series Riviera which we can recommend).
Cambodia is a good place for fostering family harmony, I think. Pretty much everyone in the country has lost a relative, or several, to the genocidal reign of the Khmer Rouge in the late 1970s. One our our guides explained that both of his brothers (teachers) were buried alive in the atrocities before he was born.
So maybe it helped for Amanda to be able to think “she may be a pain in the ass at times, but at least she’s alive”.
We spent a morning at the Choeung Ek Genocidal Centre (Killing Fields) and S21, the former prison where thousands of people spent their final days. It was a difficult place to visit but a worthy reminder of the evil humans can do, and in some places are still doing (eg. Myanmar, right now).
I find it strange that ‘attractions’ like these two places are listed on TripAdvisor. I like to read the ‘poor’ and ‘terrible’ reviews to see what people have to say. Chief among the complaints is that it was ‘depressing’ (well yes, the clue’s in the word ‘killing’) and someone said S21 is too far outside the city. While I’m sure the journey from the prison to the killing fields was an ideal amount of time for terrified victims to ponder their impending demise, the Khmer Rouge should really have thought about the Western tourists who would have to endure a dusty 15 minute tuk tuk ride to mourn them 40 years later.