We spent all of today in Phnom Penh – there was a lot to see.
Our air-conditioned coach drove us to the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda and then took us to a museum to see various Khmer crafts.
A highlight of the day was a visit to the local Russian Market where many of our fellow passengers bought souvenirs. There were also local delicacies, such as deep fried grasshoppers, tarantulas, frogs and cockroaches, but we decided not to buy any of these.
It was hot, but our guide kept us well supplied with complimentary bottled water from the fridge on the bus.
In the afternoon we visited the Killing Fields where it is estimated that up to 2.2 million of the country’s population of around 7 million were killed during the Khmer Rouge regime, under Pol Pot – previously, on board, we had watched a DVD on this black period in Cambodia’s history.
Our local guide was a wealth of information. We viewed the memorial, were taken to several of the mass graves and then went to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.
Those who preferred not to view the Killing Fields were offered an option of taking a tuk tuk to explore the city on their own, although no one in our group chose this option.
Back on La Marguerite, we freshened up and headed to the Lounge to enjoy complimentary local spirits and beers.
After dinner, many passengers went ashore to experience the local nightlife, as we were not leaving until the next morning. Everyone felt very safe, and this was the case throughout the whole journey, as in all the main cities there is an abundance of Tourist Police.