Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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Cambodians call it “the city where heaven meets hell.” On the one hand, Phnom Penh is a beautiful city; it sprawls along the river, with wide, tree-lined boulevards and French colonial villas. But on the other hand, Cambodia’s dark history of genocide and civil war is never far from the surface ; it is especially apparent that fewer than 3% of the population is older than 65.

I cannot appropriately address my visit to the Tuol Sleng Prison/Genocide Museum and the Choeung Ek Killing Fields. However, I will note that I had a chance opportunity to meet a survivor of the S-21 prison, of which there were only 7 (of 21,000 prisoners). His name is Mr. Bou Meng and learning his story helped me better understand what happened during the Khmer Rouge regime and the subsequent years of civil war.

One of the most inspirational aspects of Phnom Penh is the number of nonprofit organizations working to rehabilitate the city. One such organization is Friends International, which runs a number of social enterprises including several restaurants that train former street children. I had dinner one evening at Romdeng, located in the gardens of a french villa, which specializes in Cambodian cuisine – including crispy, deep-friend tarantula with garlic-lime dipping sauce – yum!

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2 Comments

Filed under Asia, Cambodia

2 responses to “Phnom Penh, Cambodia

  1. Carrie

    Seriously? Tarantula? Wow. Loving your blog posts – thanks for taking us along on this adventure!

  2. Eileen

    YUM – nothing like some deep-fried spider legs! I hope you took a picture of that meal before you dug in. Loving being able to see a bit of the world through your eyes. Stay safe.

    Much love always,

    The Ferriers

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