The people of Cambodia are some of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met. Their kind hearts make you feel so welcome and it makes the experience of the country that much better and more enjoyable. I fell in love with the country as soon as I arrived, finding that the tuk tuk drivers weren’t hassling us for their own business but for our own benefit, we picked one and he drove us to the atm on the way to our hotel, giving us a cheap price and some much needed information for our few days that we had in Phnom Penh. The area itself was also beautiful, slightly more modernised than where we’ve been with less obvious poverty.
Our first day consisted of the tourist attractions of Phnom Penh, which weren’t so much attractions as they were memories of Cambodia’s past. Our own personal tuk tuk driver who drove us to and from the killing fields and the museum happily waited for a couple of hours each while we looked around both, something that we felt would never occur in Sydney’s city. The killing fields were first, though it didn’t appear as expected when we arrived. Through the gates were grassy areas, coconut trees and plant life beyond what we could see. Upon closer inspection though we begun to notice the uneven levels of the grass and areas of dirt with undiscovered remains lying beneath. The mass graves were the reason for the uneven terrain, and the undiscovered remains were due to the insane number of bodies that had been thrown there, impossible to have dug up every piece. The emotions poured out as we walked through the field, listening to our own portable audio recordings to hear from the researchers and stories of the survivors. The museum was similar and contained more graphic memories of the past, displaying pictures around the rooms of what had happened to those who were held in the prison.
The people of Cambodia have worked hard to protect the remains of their past, still unsure of how their own government could do this to their country.