Came into Phnom Penh with a little trepidation. Didn’t quite know what to expect. Of course I was cognisant of the fact that Cambodia had quite a challenging history during the course of the Pol Pot regime, but what I found was a beautiful vibrant city full of people who wanted to build businesses and engage with foreign tourists and develop tourist infrastructure. This was exemplified by the wide boulevards and diligent attention to public space detail.

What was rather disconcerting, was the trip out to the “Killing Fields”. I do not think that I will ever understand, or come to terms with a regime, be it in Bosnia, Russia, Africa etc etc. that will engage in a policy of mass extermination of its citizens. The brutality and brutalism of an omnipotent political hegemony defies explanation, when it can resort to slaughter on the scale and pervasiveness that was self evident here just beggars belief. It is incumbent on us all to preclude that happening again. Though, I have my doubts.

We left for a short trip to the coast. We stayed in a small embryonic village that was trying to increase it’s tourist attractiveness just outside Sihanoukville prior   to heading north. There  was this Czech guy and his girlfriend trying to establish a Guesthouse called Mushroom. Really novel idea, but he really did need to get his plumbing sorted out!