What a whirlwind the past few days has been for Carly and I. The Wedding went off without a hitch and was a huge day and night for not only us but for our family and friends. Carly spent the morning getting ready with her Bridesmaids, family and the Twin flower girls. I spent the morning drinking coffee, wandering around Elwood before finally spending some time with my Groomsmen, Mark and Evan by watching Robocop.
.:Meredith O’Shea is the most amazing photographer ever! Just do what she says!:.
Day 1: We flew out from Melbourne just after midnight on Tuesday morning and flew to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The flight itself was fairly painless and we both managed to get a few hours sleep before landing in Kuala Lumpur. The next 3 hours were spent wandering the airport checking out the duty free shopping before we spotted a Starbucks and leeched off their free Internet until our next flight.
We arrived in Phnom Penh just after 10am on Tuesday morning, 13 hours after we departed Melbourne. Sweet Baby Jesus it was hot!!! I like the cold, thus why I like Canberra; so needless to say arriving to 37’C with 10’000% humidity was a shock to the system. We paid for our visas, passed quickly through immigration and customs and were soon sitting in an air-conditioned car with our driver and guide for the day.
Our first stop for the day was the Killing Fields of Choenung Ek. In high school I did a fair bit of study on the recent history of Cambodia; in particular the Khmer Rouge regime. Although I have seen a lot of terrible and horrific things first hand over the past decade it is still quite sobering to experience something so huge that it has restructured a nation’s identity. The Cambodian people don’t shy away from discussing the days under Pol Pot’s genocidal rule; they embrace that this terrible chapter in their recent history has changed them forever and they strive to overcome the challenges of the past.
Our next destination was the Ohana Hotel across the road from the Mekong River. We checked in and grabbed a quick lunch before a quick walk through the nearby markets.
Our driver and guide picked us up a couple of hours later and we drove to the Royal Palace for a quick tour of the amazing gardens and buildings. Our guide Sam At was full of knowledge about his country, King and recent history. Sometimes he would even ask questions to see if we were paying attention.
For our final tour of the day we headed to the National Museum for a quick look around at the thousands of statues of Buddhism and Hinduism that Cambodia has amassed over the past several centuries. To be honest we were fairly statued out; but it was still a good opportunity to see how Cambodia has adapted yet kept its national identity after so many years of upheaval.
We spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying a quick siesta before heading out for a walk on the banks of the Mekong River, a stroll through the markets and quiet dinner near our hotel.