Cambodia: Phnom Penh


Eliza and I arrived in Phnom Penh in mid-May and like Thailand, neither of us had ever been to Cambodia or knew that much about the country. Our knowledge was limited to: 1) the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge; 2) Cambodia too is one of the primary destinations for sexual exploitation and trafficking of women and children; and 3) Angkor Wat is one of the most magnificent sites in the world. Though we only spent two weeks in the country, it became clear that these images of Cambodia were in fact at the core of its identity. The energy in Phnom Penh was heavy and laden with apathy; billboards throughout the city warned of the penalties for abusing children and its greatest points of interest for tourism were S21 and The Killing Fields.

In addition to immersing ourselves in the history of the Khmer Rouge and the work of Somaly Mam, we also attended a Pride event, an art opening and performance at the Chinese House, and Eliza took a Khmer cooking class.

Streets of Phnom Penh: