We ended up spending nearly a week in Phnom Penh, mainly because we splashed out and stayed in a very nice hotel with swimming pool. We slipped into a very comfortable pattern of sightseeing in the mornings, chilling at the pool in the afternoon and going out for dinner/drinks in the evening.
The riverfront is definitely worth a look and walk along the promenade. There are many bars and restaurants to choose from for a rest if the sun gets too much. There is even a Costa Coffee here (near the Royal Palace). We visited the Royal Palace, with its many different buildings and beautiful gardens (including a monkey) and the National Museum (not that special to be honest).
Of course there is also a very gruesome history in Cambodia: The Khmer Rouge and it is from here you can visit the Tuol Sleng Museum (former prison S21) where they tortured people to get a ‘confession’ before shipping them off to one of the Killing Fields. Both very interesting, but very, very depressing. It is amazing how this country has recovered from this disastrous period in which about 2 million people were killed. This is a quarter of the population and was mainly the educated that were targeted. Imagine a whole generation of academics, teachers, musicians, artists etc. vanished. It has hard to imagine what that does to the psyche and the population make-up of a country. Despite this, the Cambodian people are some of the nicest and friendliest people we have met on this trip.
On a brighter note, around the corner from our hotel we discovered a rolling skating park. The girls had great fun skating around with other children and teens although be it to very inappropriate music. Luckily the girls aren’t streetwise enough to know what it means when someone is harping on about a teeny, weeny dick man… Can only think that the English of the Cambodians isn’t good enough to know what it meant!