We spent a few days checking out the Kampot area – swimming in the river, hiring a bike and riding to Kep beach and the pepper farms, accidentally accosting a monk, and riding up to a so-called ghost town in the Bokor National Park that was less “ghost” and more “boring”. It was a fun ride up there though.
New Years offered us a glimpse into our elderly future – I was on antibiotics for a kidney infection and Liam had a bad tummy, so we had dinner, a few drinks and were in bed by 10pm. Happy New Years indeed!
We left Kampot and made our way to Phnom Penh, where we spent a very sombre learning all about the 1970’s Pol Pot genocide at the Killing Fields, a 2 hectare space where thousands upon thousands of men, women and children were killed in the most barbaric ways. They’ve not excavated all of the mass graves at the site, which means that you need to be careful of bones as you walk. Clothes of the dead and rags used as blindfolds are still coming out of the ground, wrapped around tree roots or attached to bones. The experience was very educational and eye opening, but disturbing and emotional all at the same time. I’ve included two photos of the Stupa that was built in memory of the victims, but we understandably didn’t take any more photos of the area.
Yesterday we took our worst border crossing bus that we’ve experienced to date. What we were told would be a 9 hour long trip turned out to take 16 hours, involving breakdowns, crashes, minimal toilet stops, dust filling the bus and huge dramas at the border that involved a lot of yelling from a number of parties (not us). In any case we arrived last night at 4000 Islands in the south of Laos. We’ve just had the best sleep ever and are slowly getting ourselves up and at ’em. New country!