we had 4 days in p.p. which was actually more than enough. we only really did one touristy thing a day and the rest of the time we read our travel guide, walked along the river or sat in internet cafes planning our next destination. since the royal palace was literally across the park from mariam's place we couldn't NOT go...and anyway, we had to see the silver pagoda with the solid gold buddha. at the end of our tour of the palace grounds we came to the outer wall where we could hear music playing. we followed wooden stairs up to an open balcony where some musicians were seated. we were encouraged to join them and try out one of the khmer-style xylophones.
national museum courtyard
the weather in p.p. was drizzly and humid so we opted not to go to the killing fields but to stay in the city and go to the tuol sleng genocide museum a.k.a. S-21. the former security office 21 was created on orders of pol pot and was "designed for detention, interrogation, inhuman torture and killing after confession from the detainees were received and documented". while visiting this museum is difficult and depressing i think it is important to view. it's important because tragedies like this (ie. genocide) are still going on in the world today. and how is that possible? how can we let this continue? what are we doing to stop it? i'm not saying that a visit to tuol sleng will make you an activist but it has made me start to wonder about myself. how can i have been so apathetic for so long?
photo documentation of just a few faces of the thousands killed at S-21
prison cells in building B
the beach at sunset