Monday- oat,oav, oh,another temple, oh, another village. The bad news, the afternoon oav stop Is Flooded so we will spend an extra day in Phnom Penh. In the morning we
Went to another village with more kids, more scarves..
In the afternoon we docked in Phnom Penh. We visited the national museum and took a tour around the city and went to the Russian Market. I am resisting buying souvenirs because I can’t bear to send any more to the recycle center and I have promised myself
That every time something comes in something must go out. Mary snagged opium pipes and coral jewelry.
We returned to the boat and remained anchored in port for the evening. Before dinner we walked. I think this is the first country I have felt it was unsafe to walk. There were fireworks in honor of the kings birthday. He is 90 years old and this is the twentieth anniversary of his second coronation.
In the morning we went to Royal Palace by cyclo. Each member of ship had their own seat pushed by a bike. These poor men cycled all the way to the palace, waited in the street for us to return and then cycled us around town and back to the boat. In the palace we visited the coronation room which houses the throne that is only used for coronations. The hall is used for State visits. The palace is behind the hall but walled off. The silver hall is tiled in large 12 x12 silver tiles… Not ceramic real silver. The hall houses a large collection of Buddhas, silver, gold, marble, baccarat crystal, jade, very small to larger than life.
In the afternoon we went to the killing fields. The genocide led by Pol Pot was brutal. The goal was to eliminate all handicapped, all educated, all creative, and keep only people they could physically and mentally enslave. Children and parents were separated, children were brainwashed to reject their parents and only accept directions from the Khmer Rouge. The torture and methods of execution were barbaric, the regime did not believe the life of these people was worth wasting a bullet to snuff it out. People were beaten against trees, decapitated with the sharp edge of the palm leaf and hung. Based on percents of population this genocide far exceeds the Holocaust. There are several hundred killing fields in Cambodia with numerous mass graves,osiers filled with bones and towers of skulls. The next stop was one of the infamous prisons that had their own unique forms of torture.
In the evening were entertained by young dancers.
Today,which I believe is Wednesday we are sailing all day, no Internet, no stops, only food, more food and drinks that flow like the river. We can see lots of flooded villages.
We will have three programs presented by people on the boat, endangered birds, life in communist Vietnam and making spring rolls.
Early this morning three people left the boat to run. While they were gone the boat left the dock and went to the middle of the river. Watching these people come back to an empty boat slip was really very funny. The tour guide knew they were running and had made arrangements to pull along another ship to retrieve the runners but the runners did not know and stood waving at us from the pier. I’m sorry I have such a sick sense of humor…but believe me there is a back story that makes this even funnier.