Drinks on the terrace
Our last few hours in the energetic Cambodian city of Phnom Penh were spent in the gentle ambience of the Foreign Correspondents Club , sipping cold drinks on the terrace, and looking out on the murky Mekong River. The FCC feels like a colonial outpost for expats, and is a great place to read flyers about events and exhibitions. It is on the corner of Street 178, famous for artists, clothing designers and the Royal Palace.
Beware unmarked cars
On the road to the airport our taxi was subjected to a barrage of tooting, as a cavalcade of Lexus cars with no number plates commandeered the road. The driver muttered about government ministers, privilege, corruption- a story we had heard several times. As our guide explained, Cambodia has a long way to go yet.
Sleepy day in Vientiane
Laos , on the other hand, felt quite different as soon as we touched down in the capital, Vientiane. It was National Day, celebrating 37 years of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. The streets were very quiet, shops and some restaurants were closed – it felt like Invercargill in the south of New Zealand on a wet Sunday. Read more
My last blog focussed on the worst of Cambodia, so this time I will keep to the title of the Intrepid tour, The Best of Cambodia, and talk about variety, excitement and delight – the Temples and the waterways.
Like Machu Pichu, Mecca and Jerusalem, Angkor Wat in Cambodia is high on any bucket list. It is high in beauty and mystery, it is high in cultural value and it is high in terms of the steps you need to climb. Read more
Tuol Sleng was a pleasant neighbourhood school, in a residential area in Phnom Penh. During the Pol Pot reign of terror from 1975 to 1979, it was the main detention and interrogation centre. 14000 Cambodian citizens were incarcerated, and tortured to obtain ‘confessions’. There were many other prisons and places of torture around the country, But Tuol Sleng is in the capital and is the best documented. Read more