What a busy day we had in the capital city of Phnom Penh! After breakfast we departed Jahan on our individual cyclos (bicycle rickshaws) headed for the Royal Palace in the heart of the city. This absolutely adrenaline filled ride seemed crazy at first, but we quickly came to realize that our cyclo drivers had everything under control. They weaved in and out of the bumper-to-bumper traffic and got us safely to our destination. The Royal Palace is absolutely a photographer’s delight! We spent a good part of the morning walking the grounds and marveling at the various temples and stupas within the grounds. We concluded our morning with a tour of the National Museum.

Our afternoon was quite a bit more somber than the morning. We visited the S-21 Genocide Museum to see a converted high school used by the Khmer Rouge as a holding area and torture center. Victims were then sent out to the Killing Fields located outside the city to complete the murders. In 1979 the Vietnamese ended this absolute atrocity. Most of our guests chose to continue on to see the Killing Fields at Choueng Ek, with a beautiful building dedicated to those who lost their lives during the Khmer Rouge reign.

The evening was a joyous occasion to revive our spirits as the hotel team hosted a scrumptious dinner, accompanied by young Apsara dancers from Cambodia Living Arts. We were left absolutely exhausted but with much to think about this very complex country.