Sorry for letting you wait, but I was enjoying the paradise vibe.🌴☀️
After Siem Reap, Felix and I took the bus to Phnom Penh. The city is so different to anything I expected and I’m not sure if I like it or not. We stayed at the Mad Monkey hostel, which has awesome beds and really nice staff.
While laying at the pool we met Nike, a fellow German traveler, and we decided to go to the killing fields together. I had no idea what that was about and was even more horrified when I realised that I literally never heard of the Pol Pot regime and the red Khmer before. For those, who like me, never heard about the situation in Cambodia only(!) 40 years ago; Pol Pot was a Cambodian revolutionary who became the leader of Cambodia in 1975. The 17th of April in 1975 the red Khmer forced all urban dwellers to walk to the countryside to work in forced labour projects. The whole idea of that was to make all Cambodians equal by making everybody work as farmers like in old days. They killed educated people, doctors, teachers, people with glasses (cause they must be smart), people with soft hands (because they never had to work hard) and the list continues. He basically killed everyone with a higher education and was responsible for the death of 25% of Cambodia’s population.
The killing fields that we visited reminded us of Hitler’s concentration camps. They made everybody work hard, giving them the smallest amount of food you could survive on (even though a lot of people died of malnutrition or starved to death). The killing field is one of approximately 300 mass graves in Cambodia where you still can see pieces of clothes, bones and even bloodstains.
In the centre of Phnom Penh is a museum (S-21 or Tuol Sleng), a former school building which under the Pol Pot regime was used as a torture prison. At that place they forced people to admit a crime they haven’t done and then got tortured over and over again without any hope of surviving. After the red Khmer went down in 1979 only 7 people out of 18000 survived in Tuol Sleng. You can still see the cells, torture instruments and pictures of the victims today. All in all this was one of the most intense and horrifying museums I’ve ever been to.
The fact that this happened not that long ago and that I haven’t heard a single thing about it made me realise how important it is to learn about genocides and to keep the memories alive. I’m truly impressed how far Cambodia has improved since and especially how good they speak English.
At this point I send out my deepest respect to all those who lost their loved ones and may the souls of the dead rest in peace! ☮
Others than that we kind of got asked to be part in a documentary about backpackers from the German TV channel WDR. So in February you can see Felix and me shooting with guns in a shooting range in Phnom Penh 😅.
Others than that Joan, Andrea and Eddy finally catched up with us and together we celebrated Felix birthday. 🎉🎈
After that Felix finally(!) got a plane home to cold ass Germany.
On our way to Koh Rong we stopped in Kampot and Sihanoukville but nothing special happened there. Now I’m on Koh Rong enjoying life at the beach and I love it!
Favourite quote: “Ohne scheiss kein Geld mehr, keine Wohnung, kein Handy und kein Job. Dezember wird einfach scheiße” – Felix on the day he was going home.
What I lost: my roskilde festival power bank 😭
-Love and peace Marie🌸-