The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek and the Russian Market, Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

We negotiate a price with a tuk-tuk driver and head out towards the Killing Fields. It’s a 30 minute drive across Phnom Penh, through some interesting suburbs and sights. At the Killing Fields, even from the car park, we can see the many skulls, stacked inside the beautiful white pagoda.

We quickly fall into the mood required for a visit to such a site. The site is minimal, with just a few signs indicated some of the graves, and where buildings once stood. Nothing remains of the buildings or much else at the site. I like this, as I have come to pay my respects, and I don’t need any visual indications of what the people here suffered. A few trees are labelled with their purpose during the bloody years here at Choeung Ek, reminding me of how primitive things. At the far end of the sight we get hassled by some kids, just looking for money, but I ignore them, moving them on with my hand gesture. Abby takes the time to talk to them, but I want to think and take in where I am.

It’s a fairly small site, and to be honest I was expecting there to be more here, maybe after there was so much to take in at S-21 yesterday. But, it has been interesting and much has been left to the imagination, which I think is important at the sight like this.

We spend a few minutes at the pagoda where I watch a local man by some incense sticks and make his prayers. It’s impossible to think of the emotions the Cambodian people feel. They are so strong and brave.

We get back in the tuk-tuk and head over to the Russian Market.

It’s a bit more cramped and claustrophobic than the other market yesterday, but it’s fun and we find several things to buy, for ourselves and for other people back home. I have more of my ongoing frustration at buying t-shirts. I find 2 that I really like, but they are the wrong sizes.

We head back to the guesthouse and spend the rest of the day relaxing. We have just 22 days of our trip left (of our 5 month trip, and 7 months for me). We are both looking forward to going home, but we are sad to leave these fascinating and fun countries. We are already planning future trips 🙂

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