We rode a van from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, the capital city of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The journey was about six hours. We stayed at the house of a Filipino missionary family in Phnom Penh for two nights.
The first stop was a killing field during the Khmer Rouge regime. It was not far from the city.
I cried when we walked around the field and saw where the people were killed and buried.
We also visited Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. It was a former high school but was used as the notorious Security Prison 21 during the Khmer Rouge regime. We watched a sad documentary before leaving the place.
We then capped off the day with a river cruise on the Mekong River.
If you want to know the rest of our visit in Phnom Penh, visit this page.
Overland travel from Thailand to Cambodia took more than five hours. We took the earliest train that departed from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong train station. The train arrived past 7 o’clock in the morning at Lat Krabang train station, which was the nearest station from where we stayed. We just paid 40 baht for the fare to Aranyaprathet, which was a few kilometers from the Cambodian border town of Poipet. The train that traveled to the border had wooden seats. I thought it would be uncomfortable but I was proven wrong. The green scenery was a sight to behold and the cool breeze blowing in through the open window made it a wonderful journey.
There was a long queue in the immigration, but after an hour we found ourselves walking down the street toward the Cambodian frontier. It was too hot and we were carrying heavy backpacks. After our passports were stamped, we walked toward the bus station where we waited for our ride to Siem Reap. Good thing my Thai sim card still worked in Poipet and I was able to contact the owner of the lodge who arranged our ride from Poipet to Siem Reap.
There was a slight problem. We were not able to contact the driver of the taxi so we decided to go to another bus station where there was a money changer. The ride was free for tourists and it only took less than 10 minutes. After getting our riel, we saw someone holding a paper with my name on it. His name was Mr. Hak, the driver.
We found out later that it was better to use US dollars in Cambodia than riel. If you want to know what we did on our way to Siem Reap, check out this blog entry.