Friday, July 31, 2009

Day 6 – A twist of emotions


Yes, I'’m not done with my travelogue so bear with it. I die die want to blog it all out for my own pleasure, and for remembrance. It’s just very easy to “access” because with just a click, I can show my friends the place I mentioned, and the things I’d done. It’s a blog after all.

Just in case you all thought that I went to Cambodia/Thailand again, sorry la.. It’s just my blogging speed at fault.

Date: 25th June 2009

Oh by the way, before you proceed, I must let you all know that the first half of this post contains erm…. disturbing photos. Please scroll down and start reading from the part we arrived Bangkok instead if y’all prefer mindless snippets.

Beauty up on a fine Thursday morning


Classy restaurant of Bougain Villier



Breakfast! Kind of remind me of Crowd Lu’s song again…


Tried out the local tuk-tuk instead this time to go to Toul Sleng Genocide Musuem and Choeung Ek Genocide Centre for USD10, or 20… if not mistaken.

I enjoyed sight-seeing in Phnom Penh because everything was just so interesting and, like I said earlier.. “out of the box”.

On a busy road with trucks, lorries and cars.. you can also find tuk-tuk, hawker carts, pedicab rickshaw tricycles and… I don’t know, 5 passengers on a motorbike?

To recycle?

There’s one place that we didn’t manage to squeeze in our tight schedule, Steung Meanchey Dump (nickname, Smokey Mountain). I think I will cry if I was there, not because of the smell, but looking at the poor children picking up what we classified as rubbish, but precious in their eyes, walking around barefoot with shattered glass all over the place and trying hard to survive day by day while kids in Brunei are happily eating at McD and pestering their parents for a new mobile phone / PSP.

Berat hati ku ni….







The quiet park located in the middle of the road where all locals gathered during the afternoon for sunset activities.


Street vendor, whom our driver said they were either from Vietnam, Laos or Myanmar because the locals don’t sell food on the street… –_-?


A clinic




Tuk-tuk in Cambodia is different from those in Bangkok. It is more spacious and comfortable because tuk-tuk drivers drive “gently” as compared to those fast and furious tuk-tuk drivers in Bangkok zigzagging through small gaps between car in a fast speed.

Actually, all vehicles in Cambodia are rather slow. We were very surprised that we didn’t see any roundabout of traffic light in a busy junction. The drivers there seemed to develop a system of their own giving way or sudden-braking at times we don’t understand. I guess that’s the reason they drive slow.


Cart, bike and cars in a row.. on a busy road.
Interesting sight for me.

Imagine having a hawker cart in the middle of the road here, or worst… KL, really don’t know early early fly to where liao lor.


Arriving the Toul Sleng Museum.

I’ll just cut and paste the history of Toul Sleng musuem from the wiki page if you’re too lazy to click the link, and please do read if you have no idea what is that place about.

It’s not your average museum displaying artifacts and showing you heritage.

Formerly the Chao Ponhea Yat High School[1], named after a Royal ancestor of King Norodom Sihanouk, the five buildings of the complex were converted in August 1975, four months after the Khmer Rouge won the civil war[2], into a prison and interrogation center. The Khmer Rouge renamed the complex "Security Prison 21" (S-21) and construction began to adapt the prison to the inmates: the buildings were enclosed in electrified barbed wire, the classrooms converted into tiny prison and torture chambers, and all windows were covered with iron bars and barbed wire to prevent escapes.

From 1975 to 1979, an estimated 17,000 people were imprisoned at Tuol Sleng (some estimates suggest a number as high as 20,000, though the real number is unknown). At any one time, the prison held between 1,000-1,500 prisoners. They were repeatedly tortured and coerced into naming family members and close associates, who were in turn arrested, tortured and killed. In the early months of S-21's existence, most of the victims were from the previous Lon Nol regime and included soldiers, government officials, as well as academics, doctors, teachers, students, factory workers, monks, engineers, etc. Later, the party leadership's paranoia turned on its own ranks and purges throughout the country saw thousands of party activists and their families brought to Tuol Sleng and murdered. [1] Those arrested included some of the highest ranking communist politicians such as Khoy Thoun, Vorn Vet and Hu Nim. Although the official reason for their arrest was "espionage," these men may have been viewed by Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot as potential leaders of a coup against him. Prisoners' families were often brought en masse to be interrogated and later murdered at the Choeung Ek extermination center.

In 1979, the prison was uncovered by the invading Vietnamese army. In 1980, the prison was reopened as a historical museum memorializing the actions of the Khmer Rouge regime. The museum is open to the public, and receives an average of 500 visitors every day




USD2 for the entrance.



A better and shorter introduction.






It felt really peaceful on the morning we visited but thinking of all the things that happened there before just sent me chills down my spine.


For caption, read the sign.





*speechless over the rules*

So ruthless and, this happened in the 20th century!
1975, in a country so near to us!


Along the corridor.



No smiling…
And I bet no one could upon entering the place.










We tumpang listened to the stories that the tour guide was telling.
Look at the intensity on his face, he’s not faking it.





The collapsing ceiling.






Okay, that’s Toul Sleng for now.

If you’re curious to know, no, that place doesn’t stink. However, I did felt like puking and crying… Maybe because the 怨气 of the prisoners was overpowering. Okay, this is me being all superstitious and auntie.

Took a 20 minute tuk-tuk ride to the Killing Field.

There’s no shopping mall in Phnom Penh. Hence the locals only shop at the local markets and shop lots.



A street making tuk-tuk carts.





Look! My collar bone was visible here!
I’m thin! LOL!


Men sitting on the container on the pick-up happily smiling for my camera.

I think… it’s really heavy to push the cart.


The Sexy Lips.



A bicycle full of KANGKUNG!


Arriving the Choeung Ek Genocide Center, place where I saw human skulls… and lots of it for the very first time.





USD2 for the entrance.


The Memorial





With skeletons and skulls in it, organized by age and gender.


Mau taking off her pretty sandals before entering.



I hope those victims’ spirits haunt Pol Pot every night till the day he died and he now has to undergo all the tortures he cleverly “invented” in hell.

Pfftt! Long live KARMA!














“Waiting room for death” ….











Leaving the Killing Field and smiling despite of the heavy heart and trauma reading about the history.




Finally, something familiar




Bluetooth BBQ Restaurant!
Even the logo also copy don’t pray pray.



Driver all cover-up and passengers left exposed.




Double Protection. *look at the her head if you don’t get what I mean*



No idea what was it..



Nah, durians.
(Am glad that I’m not a durian lover..)



Hope I didn’t spoil your appetite.



For you pervs, nah.. high school girls.



The jewelry shop located in between the hotel lobby and our room. Yes, it’s a weird hotel. After checking in, you have to walk out of the building, then take another 10 steps or so to the left and enter the “accommodation building”



Rickshaw, for display purpose only.




A better view on the hotel lobby. Very oriental kan?



Meet Yoyo, the cute CYP who had veneer elongating her front teeth. Er, according to Yoyo, it’s the latest “in” thing for Cambodia girls because it’s cuter that way.

Er… okay.


They pulled a “Bollywood” with the door connecting the restaurant and lobby and I wanted to join in too!






Then we headed few streets down for lunch. This time it’s “Malaysia Restaurant”!


They have really straight forward names in Cambodia.

”Halal Restaurant” for a restaurant selling halal food.
”Malaysia Restaurant” for a restaurant Malaysia food I guess.
And, the jewelry shop next to our hotel is called “Sit Down Jewelry”.



Mee Bandung, so so only…



Chicken rice…

The rice is just plain white rice and its nothing like Thien Thien’s.
A plate of very dry chicken rice.

Street vendor selling books…



and books only…


along the Sisowath Quay.




Dropping Yoyo off to her uni, RUPP, Royal University of Phnom Penh.



Phnom Penh Internation Airport shows Cartoon Network, and not the usual BBC or CNN! I like! :D




Our luggage for 2 days 2 nights.
Obviously, we did not buy anything and hence our luggage was still amazingly light.



Shooting AirAsia advertisement.



Airport tax… MAHAL!




Camwhored while waiting to board.

Those passengers you saw sitting behind us were the less lucky one who had their flight to KL delayed.




Filling up the arrival form, again.





Hmm… I don’t know… but, massage sea food doesn’t sound to appealing to me.




I hope you’re as dirty-minded as us because we kept chuckling after seeing the funny knitted cover for the gear stick, with two furry balls especially.




Waiting to check in MY Hotel!
I love that hotel. Cheap and nice.
800 baht per night (inclusive of VAT and whatsoever tax), so much cheaper than Bougain Villier, which was USD59 per night. Cut throat!


Thais offered Garlic to the deities.


Our room!


Nicely air-conditioned  (unlike Bougain Villier, which we felt nothing at all but angin dari kipas), nice floorings and, saw that? The sink is not inside the bathroom, but outside!

Mau didn’t like it that way but I like.
I don’t know, it just felt nice being able to brush teeth, remove make up and wash face when you can still have your eyes glued to the TV. I thought it’s very convenient.



Camwhored first.



Our beds, separated for the very first time for our entire trip.

Dropped our luggage and went straight to Central World!
Our favorite shopping center.


It was the most happening shopping mall because they had a lot of events and functions every night.. well, maybe on the two nights we went because I don’t know about other time.

In Chatuchak – we felt very rich but everything looks straight from the factory and you got a feeling that 3 months later, what you bought will be seen in local pasar malam.

In Siam Paragon – it’s everything we wanted but couldn’t afford. Bye Chanel, it was nice meeting you.

In Central World – Forever 21, Zara, Isetan. Affordable and chic!






Sausage with glutinous rice for appetizer.

Where we had our dinner.





It was really fun just sitting down, watching passersby enjoying the cool breeze. It was the moment we fell in love with the city too. 


What not to like about Bangkok?
Food is cheap, clothing and accessories are cheap and trendy and it’s safe!

Anyway, we sat there because we were waiting for Pont to pick us up. Fashionably late as usual.

He brought us to this 24 hours dimsum / bak kut teh restaurant. Can you imagine how Mau felt with all the babi-ness surrounding her?


Yea, she ate nothing but some sweet bun (confirmed safe to consume) that night.




while Pont and I ate our heart out.


The dimsums were so different from Brunei’s!

Smaller and cheaper of course.

You saw,
Corn siew mai
Tofu mai
Mini size lo mai kai
Red snapper mai
Salmon mai, and lastly..
siew mai!

One plate is about 20 or 30 baht I can’t remember.



Posing shamelessly in the restaurant with Pont the Casanova.

Then, we’re back to our hotel and while I showered, Mau tried to leech wifi from Mr. DLink again.



Good night everyone.        

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