Cambodia, a land of sorrow and mystery, overwhelmed us during our three day visit, April 22 to April 25, 2014. It was the front-end of a fifteen day tour hosted by Gate 1 Tour Company, that included Viet Nam. The intenseness of the three day experience produced almost as many memories as the following two weeks spent in Viet Nam.

Phnom Phen

Phnom Penh provided us with glimpses into a Third World, a Fantasy World, and a World of Horror. The grandeur of the Royal Palace is just down the way from S-21, the scene of the confinement, torture, and killings of so many during their civil war and places Phnom Penh in a special category of its own.

The City
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Imperial Palace
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Constructed in the 1800s to serve as the home of the royal families and, maybe more importantly, as a symbol of the kingdom. To day it is the home of King Norodom Sihamoni and former King Norodom Sihanouk who was king during the Viet Nam conflict.
Killing Fields
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Once a suburban high school on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Taol Sleng was turned into the infamous S-21 that was used as a detention, torture, and processing center for the “Killing Fields”
The following is graphic and somber and may not be for everyone.

Between 1975 and 1978 more than 17,000 people held at S-21 were taken to the extermination camp at Choeung Ek known as the “Killing Fields”, one of many scattered throughout Cambodia. The horror of the site is captured by the plaques describing various parts of the camp.

Cross Country

For the first and last time our tour company chose traveling down Federal Highway versus flying to Siem Reap. The road was either under repair, needing repair, or just obstructed by animals. It did give us an opportunity for experiences not available to most tourists.

Bug Market
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Statues & Oxen
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Floating Village
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Angkor Thom
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Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Angkorian empire. The ruins have not survived as well as Angkor Wat, in many areas being literally taken over by trees. Bayon is the central temple, located in the middle of the city. If you visit Angkor Wat you should make sure that you take time to explore this area also.

Angkor Wat
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