The bus ride was four hours from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh. On arrival, our tuktuk driver told us not to go to the hostel with good reviews and instead took us to a semi-touristy, semi Red-Light-Districty area right by the Mekong River. Pretty decent place to be honest: four beds, TV, fridge, A/C, and a nice big bathroom… with a dying cockroach in it. It was dying for the entire four days we stayed there. It was even there dying after the maids cleaned our room. Modern City Hotel for ya.
Fishing in Cambodia: Last Chance
So Max, Ryker and I went to the Mekong because Max still hadn’t caught a fish in Cambodia yet (kind of a ‘bucket list’ thing for him to catch a fish in every country he visits). There were other guys fishing there so we thought we’d probably catch something. Not the case. We got bored pretty quickly, and the sun was just beating down on us. Plus I slipped on a rock and cut my foot open IN the scummy, filthy Mekong. I was pissed. I got sick that night (cold) because of it. Then it got infected and now my foot is scarred for life.
When we got back to Modern City, the key wasn’t working in the lock and it took three guys 40 minutes to open the door. Luckily we were able to sneak in the window by climbing up to it from the hallway.
W3 B3 BLOND3
Max wanted blue hair for some reason but when he did it at the salon, it looked just as black as it was before. We didn’t even notice he dyed his hair when we looked at him. So he and Ryker went back to do it again. I met up with them just in time to see Max sitting in a salon chair with Ryker dying his hair blonde. Apparently the lady wouldn’t do it because it didn’t work the first time, so they went and bought their own and did it in her chair, hahaha. In fact, they took turns doing it to each other. Ryker got parts of his hair, and half of his beard. Gatty got his whole head and half an eyebrow. Unfortunately they had a little bit left so now I’m sitting here writing this with blonde hair on the left side of my head. Bunch of clowns. Russia’s hair is still just brown.
Right after the salon, we went for dinner. Small, cheap place but because of that stuff in our hair, we really stunk the place up. It was hilarious. Anyways, Ryker got a rice dish but that blonde seemed to get to Max and my head. We ordered a duck and frog dish, and there was just as much meat as there was bone. It tasted alright, but the overall meal was crap. Too much work for such a small meaty yield.
So we checked out a couple bars just to see what Phnom Penh was all about. Mostly locals, mostly grungy, many ladyboys. The first bar we went to was like a Cambodian version of Coyote Ugly, but smaller. All these local girls aggressively approaching tourists really creeps me out. And seeing older white men with younger locals grosses me out. I was ready to go home pretty quickly, but the guys convinced me to go to Pontoon (big club), so I went. There was a mix of races (6), genders (3), age (17-50)… it was not my cup of tea. Not by a long shot. Rush and I left shortly after. Gatty and Ryker got home at sunrise.
Off to the Killing Fields
So during breakfast today, our tuktuk driver (Mr. Wii) organized a cab ride for us from another guy to take us to the fields and shooting range. Apparently it’s too far for a tuktuk. And of course, according to them, it’s cheaper this way. It was weird and Gatty and Russia were super sketch about it. It felt like we were getting Green Banana’d. And Mr. Wii wanted to come with because he wanted to see the rocket launcher that we were planning on shooting, so we had like eight people in a car. It was ridiculous, so Mr. Wii and I sat in the trunk with the lid up. That part, I must admit, was pretty fun. Waving at everybody we passed, seeing the looks on their faces as they see this half blonde, white guy sitting in the trunk with an old Cambodian man.
The Killing Fields
We were expecting acres of fields and bones and stuff but in reality, the entire site could be seen in 15 minutes if you rushed it. We got a headset for $5 and listened to the horrific stories at different spots around the fields. There was one tree in particular that was used to smash babies against, before their bodies were tossed in a heap beside the tree. And there was this creepy music being blasted throughout the fields during the killing process. It was used to drown out the moans of dying Cambodians. The entire process was just disgusting. We weren’t overly hesitant to leave.
Two kids, about six years of age, were on the other side of the chain link fence, outlining the fields. They noticed our camera (we obviously have our cameras with us everywhere we go) so they approached the fence and said three things to us.
- ”Take pictuuuure…?” So we took a picture of them.
- “We seeeeeeee…?” So we showed them.
- “Some moneeeeyyyyyy?” Couldn’t fucking believe it!
We’re used to kids asking for money and stuff but not at the killing fields! So creepy.
The Rocket and the LaunchPad
So we picked up a flat of beer and a fat propane tank and pulled up to a shooting range. We looked at guns, worked out prices, then it was time. Rock, Paper, Scissors for who shoots the bazooka. I lost to Max in the finals but he gave his shot up to us, so we went again and Rush got it. Rats.
We setup cameras in various locations, got everything in place and the guy explained to Rush how to shoot it. We sat patiently, ready to witness the unrivalled power of this majestic weapon. All was silent, Russia takes aim, aaannnddd… “click”. Nothing happened! So intense. We half expected him to just blow up where he stood. Then the dude grabs it, sets it up again and Russia takes aim.
Loudest fucking bang I’ve ever heard. Our ears were ringing like mad, and the entire area was smoky. Unfortunately Russia missed by a mile, so we got out the sentry gun. The Cambodians didn’t think the bullets alone were enough to explode the propane tank (we disagreed, but they knew better than we did) so we lit a small fire beside it. We all took turns firing the sentry gun but Ryker had the winning bullet. And man that tank made a big fuckin explosion. It was spraying fire out of it for at least 20 seconds. Definitely one of the cooler things I’ve seen in life.
- Rode in the trunk of a car with a Cambodian man
- Learned about Cambodian genocide at the killing fields
- Drank a flat of beer (shared)
- Shot a bazooka
- Shot a sentry gun
- Blew up a propane tank
- Rode home in the trunk and peed all along the highway while cruising at 100km/h
All in all, pretty crazy day…
Last Day in Cambodia
I got up before the rest of the guys and wandered around the streets until I found a travel place where I could buy bus tickets. Then I bought bus tickets. They were $15 each. All we did today was ride around in a tuktuk for a few hours eating popsicles. Then later we played on an outdoor workout playground. At midnight, we caught our bus to Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon.