Friday, April 27, 2007

Phnom Penh

Well, the last few days have been a whirlwind. Just three days ago we walked into the Myanmar Embassy in Singapore to apply for visas, Austin's mom Lori having arrived the day before. Unfortunately, when applying for his visa, Austin put down that he is a video editor. Apparently they didn't like this and we were told that Austin would have to apply for a special media permit, which would take weeks. As it was raining we sat outside the visa office for about twenty minutes in shock. We had flights booked on the 28th for Yangon and were completely sure we'd be there. We went through our options. We thought about booking it up to Kuala Lumpur and getting our visas done there. However, this didn't seem plausible considering the time our flights left. Ultimately, Lori suggested we give up on the flights to Yangon and head to Cambodia and Vietnam.

Yesterday we arrived in Phnom Penh and since it was already 8:00 PM we headed to our hotel. The next morning we got up and went straight to the Vietnamese embassy. Within half an hour we got our 15-day visa processed. We then hired a tuk-tuk for the day and went to the Choeung Ek killing fields. As expected, it was a heavy experience. A huge pagoda was built there in 1988 in rememberance and is filled with level upon level of skulls. Along the paths we were walking over bones and people's clothes. Thousands of people were butchered here in the cruellest ways possible. In order to save bullets the Khmer Rouge simply bludgeoned people to death with hammers, axes, or garden hoes. After that we went to a prison called S-21 where Pol Pot's gang tortured and killed anyone who had any sort of intelligence. If you were an intellectual or could speak a foreign language or were a professional, you would be killed.

Tomorrow we are taking the bus to Siem Reap to visit the temples of Angkor.



Mike S. said...

Dude... it's really sick that I know exactly what you are talking about! I hope you are having an awesome time in Cambodia and if you do go back to Phnom Penh try going to Mama's Restruant... it's near the central market and the big bus station there so ask around and you should find it! It is amazing food, I definately recomend the chips burger... and if you do get there please TAKE A PICTURE for me!!

Later man,

- Mike

P.S. - What guest house are you staying at?

Anonymous said...

lol @ austin

SarahRyan said...

Hey Will,

We have been checking out your blog. Your adventures sound amazing and your pics are great. Hey, if you are going to be around for our wedding, would you be up for doing some video stuff? we want the ceremony and parts of the evening to be recorded. Nothing too major. Let us know. No worries if your adventures will keep you away on the day, we'll ask someone else. Have fun and be safe,
Ryan and Sarah

Will said...

Hey Mike,
Phnom Penh is great isn't it? Cambodia could become my favourite country on this trip. We ended up staying in a hotel called Golden Gate close to the Independence Monument...I think that's what it's called. Sorry, I didn't get this until just today so I didn't get a chance to check out Mama's.... :(

Thanks for your comments anonymous!

Hey Sarah and Ryan,
I am so completely bummed that I won't be able to make your wedding. I would have loved to take some video for you. My dad is bringing my video camera, which takes some nice images, and if you get a bunch of video together, I would love to edit something for you!