A Family RTW Travel Adventure (2008-2009)
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City of Contradictions


What can you say about a place where the top two tourist attractions are a torture museum and a genocide memorial?

From early the 1970s through the mid-1990s, the people of Phnom Penh (and all of Cambodia) were brutalized, starved and murdered by their own government while the rest of the world largely looked the other way.

Given the city’s sad recent history, we did not know what to expect – especially since we had to spend five days in Phnom Penh while we waited for our Chinese visas to be processed.



In the 1950s and 60s Phnom Penh was one of Indochina’s most cosmopolitan cities. Some influences from its days as a French colony remain: Wide boulevards, lively restaurants and buzzing nightlife.  If you look closely, you can imagine the city it once must have been.

Today the most striking thing about Phnom Penh is the incredible resilience and optimism of its people. During our stay, we met two ordinary people who taught us something about the extraordinary spirit of the Khmer people.

The first we met by chance.

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March 23, 2009   9 Comments

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