February 20 – Took a tuktuk in the morning to the bus station and waited for our minibus headed to
After a few hours, we arrived in Phnom Penh where Gabe was waiting for us at the bus station
with a tuktuk to take us to our hostel called Top Banana. Got settled in there, and then went out to
dinner with Gabe’s new friends, Sammy and Phnom
at a restaurant called La Croissette.
Got a chicken burger with pesto, mozzarella and sundried tomatoes which
was amazing. Went back to Top Banana and
had a beer at the hostel bar and went to bed.
February 21 – In the morning Sam, Pia and I organized a tuktuk to take us to the killing fields which are a little outside the city. Spent a few hours walking around listening to the audio guide explaining a little about the history of the Khmer Rouge and the massacre that happened in
in the 70’s and 80’s. It was crazy to hear that one out of every four
people in the country were killed during that time. To make it worse, bullets where rarely used
since they were so expensive, so those in charge of carrying out the murders
usually did so by beating the people to death with whatever tools were handy. So after listening to that and even seeing
some decaying bones peaking out of the soil, the three of us were not in the
most chipper of moods. Our tuktuk driver
asked if we wanted to go to the shooting range, another popular tourist
attraction in Cambodia ,
and I could not imagine how anyone would want to do that following what we had
just experienced. I would like to note
though that many of the people we met there did go to shoot AK47s and one
friend paid $200 to shoot a rocket launcher. Phnom Penh
Once we got back to the hostel, I decided I wanted to walk around town a bit by myself. I really love interacting with locals when I’m by myself. I feel like I’m much less assuming when I’m by myself and it’s easier for people to open up to me. Had a few laughs with some of the tuktuk drivers who at times can be extremely persistent about driving you somewhere.
Took a nap when I got back to Top Banana, then got ready for what I thought was going to be a night out with the whole gang. Pia wasn’t feeling well, and Sam and Gabe said they were too tired, but I was so excited to go out to an African club called “Do It All” with
Coco and Sammy,
the Nigerian guys we’d met the night before, that I decided to go alone. I realize this doesn't sound like the wisest
decision, but in my defense, I think I’m an excellent judge of character and Coco and Sammy turned out to be so wonderful by taking me
to this club and watching out for me. I
absolutely loved the music and had such a good time dancing with them. I didn’t really want to leave but we left
around 3am and they drove me back to my hostel.
February 22 – After waking up, I decided to take another walk around town and did that for a few hours. Took a nap, showered, and the whole group headed over to
Coco’s where he said he’d cook
us an African dinner. Had a nice time
chatting with the four Nigerians, one being an actual prince, and then we all
headed over to a club called Pontoon for the night.