Phnom Penh, Cambodia

October 19, 2002

Weather: high of about 95ºF, low of about 85ºF and humid.

We slowed down quite a bit after saying goodbye to our friend Kris.  Partly because Kris wanted to get a lot done in just two weeks, and partly because I feel the need to stay near a bathroom for a few days.  We stay in the apartment of a friend of our buddy Eric.  The apartment is near the Royal Palace.  Phnom Penh doesn't offer too many well-defined tourist attractions, but we see what we can.

Maybe the most famous landmark is the killing fields where the Khmer Rouge slaughtered people from Phnom Penh.  Each city had its killing field, but Phnom Penh's is very large.  It feels disrespectful to take pictures of all the skulls arranged by sex and age, so I don't get any photos of the killing fields.  Next we go to a school converted to torture complex by the Khmer Rouge, S-21 or Tuol Sleng, now a genocide museum.  Many people who live nearby have ghost stories to tell about this building.
A major point of reference for us on our trip to Phnom Penh is the Deutsche Press Agency where Eric works.  Here's the DPA in all its glory: the finest news source in all of Phnom Penh.  Eat your heart out, Cambodia Daily!
At Wat Phnom, a temple in the city, we found a tree full of bats and some rather lazy, but still entertaining, monkeys.  Monkeys are low-light, high-motion critters, so getting a photo was tough, but here is our monkeysign!
The highlight of our time in Phnom Penh was meeting friends of Eric.  One activity that we did in a group was to take a day trip to a wat just outside of town called Phnom Chisor.  Here we climbed over halfway and are looking back down at the steps up the hill.
We were followed up the hill by a swarm of children from the village below.  Here, our friend David and Julie sit at the top of the hill with some kids posed behind.
Still at Phnom Chisor, Eric leads his own little swarm of kids through the old temple.
There are monks at the wat and while we are there we hear a call to prayer and chanting.  It is magical.  This is a picture of monk robes hanging out to dry in the evening light.
We stay on the hill to watch the sun set and the moon rise, then clamber back down the hill for the bumpy van-ride back to town.

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