Day 21 Siem Reap to Phnom Penh

Typical house in Cambodian countryside

Today was another transit day. A 5-hour, 350 km drive from the ancient capital of Siem Reap to the modern capital of Phnom Penh; a short day for this Rally where most driving days are 8-10 hours long.

No Stages today, but our second Passage Control was very unique. The stop was at the Insect Market. This was an open air market/cafe where you can buy/eat all sorts of crickets, ants, or other flying and crawling critters. You can get them fried, pickled, candied, mixed with peppers, chilies and vegetables.

I restrained myself, but did take some pictures of the offering which I will include with this blog.

I must say that I have travelled to a lot of places, but this is the first Market I’ve ever seen devoted exclusively to the sale of edible insects....probably good protein.


Cooked insects for sale at the Insect Market

Since we arrived early at our hotel today (the Sofitel; very posh), Brant and I decided to hire a guide and visit the main prison where the Khmer Rouge arrested, tortured and killed many Cambodians before burying them in the killing fields located 15 km out of the city.

Ultimately, they killed about 2 million of their countrymen; about 25% of the entire population.

There were 167 prisons like the one we visited today. In the particular prison we visited they incarcerated 17,000 people between ‘75 and ‘79. There were only 11 survivors from this prison (4 children and 7 adults). We met one of the survivors today; an 80 year old man still full of life.

The place was grim and awful. The feelings I had today were the same as I had the first time I visited Dachau.

As long as I may live, I’ll never understand how man can be so cruel. No amount of reading or studying can make me comprehend this sheer evil.