CAMBODIA

The Kingdom Cambodia, previously Kampuchea, had a troubled resent history (if, like me, you call the 1970’s recent). 

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Phnom Penh: Difficult history in your face.

In Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, prior to its closing, we enjoyed the old-world charm of the Bougainvillier Hotel at the junction of the Mekong and Tonlé Sap rivers. Drinking beer on the street and watching the world go by was fascinating.

The S-21 Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in the late 1970’s served as a torture and execution centre, operated by the regime of Kampuchea, commonly known as the Khmer Rouge for more than 18,000 political prisoners and their families. It is the most disturbing and gruesome location, preserved as found, and promoted by Cambodia tourism as a memorial.

A short tuk-tuk ride from S-21, the Killing Fields at Choeung Ek, preserved as a memorial, was one of the sites used by the Khmer Rouge for mass executions of at least 16,000 adults, children and babies. There is a powerful Buddhist monument in tower form, in glass, that contains over 5,000 human skulls. Fragments of bones can be seen jutting out of mass graves in the fields during seasonal rains. Loudspeakers surrounded the site to minimize the sound of victims screams as they were executed on mass.

Scattered along the road leading from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are various shooting ranges promising the best action for all your needs, where you can shoot a rocket launcher into ‘big trees and thick forest’or shoot an AK47, M16 and other machine guns into LPG tanks, throw hand grenades or fire bazookas into a house loaded with barrels of fuel, or blow up traditional houses, or a car full of petrol barrels. Most offer free hotel pickup.

Cambodia Phnom Penh Bougainvillier Hotel room view Cambodia Phnom Penh Bougainvillier Hotel room Cambodia Phnom Penh DJ smelling Jones feet in cafe Cambodia Phnom Penh DJ Toby Cambodia Phnom Penh Toby Lee in Tuk Tuk Cambodia Phnom Penh Toby dancing with kids in park Cambodia Phnom Penh Wat Phnom bugs for lunch Cambodia Phnom Penh Wat Phnom DJ eating Cockroach Cambodia Phnom Penh Wat Phnom Monkey Cambodia Phnom Penh Smashed temple in garbage Cambodia Phnom Penh temple complex Cambodia Phnom Penh Riverside Bistro on Mekong River Cambodia Phnom Penh post office Cambodia Phnom Penh palace Cambodia Phnom Penh motorbikes parking Cambodia Phnom Penh Mekong River DJ pose by river Cambodia Phnom Penh Mekong River sunset Cambodia Phnom Penh Mekong River close up boats Cambodia Phnom Penh Mekong River boars Cambodia Phnom Penh Mekong River Boy near fishing village Cambodia Phnom Penh S21 Genocide Museum skulls Cambodia Phnom Penh S21 Genocide Museum skulls on helves Cambodia Phnom Penh S21 Genocide Museum skull Cambodia Phnom Penh S21 Genocide Museum DJ in cell Cambodia Phnom Penh S21 Genocide Museum caged heads Cambodia Phnom Penh S21 Genocide Museum bed Cambodia Phnom Penh S21 Genocide Museum Jones DJ Cambodia Phnom Penh S21 Genocide Museum Artwork depicting executing babies wide Cambodia Phnom Penh S21 Genocide Museum Artwork depicting executing babies batch Cambodia Phnom Penh S21 Genocide Museum Artwork use of gallows and torture Cambodia Phnom Penh Killing Fields Choeung Ek Memorial Thousands of skulls kept in a buddhist memorial Cambodia Phnom Penh Killing Fields Choeung Ek Memorial Thousands of skulls kept in a buddhist memorial Close up Cambodia Phnom Penh Killing Fields Choeung Ek Memorial mass grave pits Cambodia Phnom Penh Killing Fields Choeung Ek Memorial pieces of bones  Map Cambodia Phnom Penh City Map Cambodia Drive Siem Riep route from Phnom Penh Cambodia Countryside Buddhist carving seller Cambodia Countryside Gas Petrol Station Cambodia Countryside Overloaded ornate bus Cambodia Countryside Overloaded van driving past Cambodia Countryside Toby Peeing Cambodia Countryside shack Cambodia Countryside shacks Cambodia Countryside stall Cambodia Countryside typical homes

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Siem Reap: Put on some rouge, Khmer and be gay

Further afield of beer swilling Phnom Penh, we headed towards pink frilly fabulousness. Gay culture in both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap is rich and accepting, and indeed all can adopt children.

In Siem Reap, we love the oasis and haven of the MEN’s Resort and Spa, one of several gay hotels in the ancient city, and adjacent to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor Wat. This French owned, men only resort has a fabulous pool and wonderful food, with terrific service. It was a gay haven. I booked a couple of adjoining suites. It was difficult to leave.

The word “Angkor” means “capital city” in the Khmer language, while the word “Wat” means “temple. ” Angkor Wat is an enormous Buddhist temple complex built in the first half of the 12th century originally as a Hindu temple. Spread across more than 400 acres, Angkor Wat is said to be the largest religious monument in the world.

We hired a private guide and driver and did tour the obligatory massive complex for a day to see the highlights of the many temples, but with soaring heat, and miles of walking, my gay family agreed to rush back and refused to leave the poolside of the resort for the balance of our stay.

Cambodia Angkor Wat Angkor Thom buddhist bike Cambodia Angkor Wat Angkor Thom buddhist offering Cambodia Angkor Wat Angkor Thom Elephant Cambodia Angkor Wat Angkor Thom statue face Cambodia Angkor Wat Angkor Thom statues Cambodia Angkor Wat Angkor Thom Toby pose Cambodia Angkor Wat Bayon DJ pose Cambodia Angkor Wat Bayon Hat Toby Cambodia Angkor Wat Bayon Lee in window Cambodia Angkor Wat Bayon Toby nose to nose head to head Cambodia Angkor Wat Bayon Toby nose to nose Cambodia Angkor Wat Bayon Toby nose with nose Cambodia Angkor Wat DJ Lee Jones pose Cambodia Angkor Wat DJ pose Cambodia Angkor Wat DJ Wizniak Cambodia Angkor Wat Jones pose Cambodia Angkor Wat Lee Jones Photographers Cambodia Angkor Wat Lee Toby in mini van Cambodia Angkor Wat Lee pose Cambodia Angkor Wat Monks Cambodia Angkor Wat Penis fertility tree in Ta Prohm Cambodia Angkor Wat Pose Toby Cambodia Angkor Wat Ta Prohm Temple of the Jungle complex Cambodia Angkor Wat Ta Prohm Temple of the Jungle DJ at root of tree Cambodia Angkor Wat Ta Prohm Temple of the Jungle tree Cambodia Angkor Wat Ta Prohm Band of landmine victims at Ta Prohm Temple of the Jungle Cambodia Angkor Wat Ta Prohm Buddhist offerings in hall Temple of the Jungle Cambodia Angkor Wat Ta Prohm DJ Wizniak in window Temple of the Jungle Cambodia Angkor Wat Ta Prohm DJ Wizniak statue Temple of the Jungle Cambodia Angkor Wat Ta Prohm kids playing Cambodia Angkor Wat Ta Prohm Toby in hall Temple of the Jungle Cambodia Angkor Wat Temple 1st view distance of walking in 120 degree heat Cambodia Angkor Wat Temple 3rd view gertting closer Cambodia Angkor Wat Temple 4th view restoration Cambodia Angkor Wat Temple Lee Burning Hot Cambodia Angkor Wat Temple Toby Hugging A Tree In The Only Shade Cambodia Angkor Wat Toby in doorway Cambodia Angkor Wat Toby in hall Cambodia Siem Reap Beer bottle recycling Cambodia Siem Reap Ice sawing an ice block buried in sawdust Cambodia Siem Reap Mens Resort DJ Jones eating Cambodia Siem Reap Mens Resort Pool view from our suite Cambodia Siem Reap Mens Resort Pool Cambodia Siem Reap Mens Resort Toby and Lee Breakfast

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