Entering Cambodia via Phnom Penh

Vietnam was great, and I really wish I could have spent much more time there. It’s certainly a country worth returning to. However, I was on a somewhat tight schedule, and still wanted to see Cambodia. I took a bus across from Saigon to Phnom Penh, and checked into the Mad Monkey Hostel in the middle of downtown.
2013-06-19 La Residence De Angkor - IMG_4854-FullWM
2013-06-19 La Residence De Angkor - IMG_4861-FullWM

First, and continuing impressions of Phnom Penh were good. The city is arranged on a neat grid, and while walking around, seemed significantly more cosmopolitan than I had expected. There’s a certain energy in the air, feeling like things are changing and improving everywhere. Lots of building projects are taking place, and people seem generally happy.

I only had two days in Phnom Penh, and made the most of my time.
2013-06-14 Phnom Pehn - DSC05640-FullWM

On the evening I arrived, I took a walk across town to the Royal Palace – which was beautiful. On my way out, I noticed a few event tents being setup across the way, and went to investigate. It turned out that the Phnom Penh International Half Marathon was being run the very next morning, and I was just in time to register. I registered for the full distance, and immediately made my way back to the hostel to sleep.
2013-06-14 Phnom Pehn - DSC05642-FullWM
2013-06-16 Half Marathon - IMG_4763-FullWM

Next morning, I woke up and ran the half marathon, which was great. Running a race through a new town was a great way to get to see everything, and I ended up doing fairly well.
2013-06-16 Half Marathon - IMG_4779-FullWM
2013-06-16 Half Marathon - IMG_4790-FullWM
2013-06-16 Half Marathon - IMG_4789-FullWM
2013-06-16 Half Marathon - IMG_4800-FullWM

Later that day, I took a brief trip out to the gun range, visited the Killing Fields and S21, and then had a dinner at a rooftop restaurant. Phnom Penh was great, and the next morning I departed for Siem Reap.

More on S21 from

The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (Khmer: ???????????????????????????????????????????) is a museum in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. The site is a former high school which was used as the notorious Security Prison 21 (S-21) by the Khmer Rouge regime from its rise to power in 1975 to its fall in 1979. Tuol Sleng (Khmer [tu?l slae?]) means “Hill of the Poisonous Trees” or “Strychnine Hill”. Tuol Sleng was only one of at least 150 execution centers in the country,[1] and as many as 20,000 prisoners there were killed.

2013-06-16 Killing Fields - DSC05653-FullWM
2013-06-16 Killing Fields - DSC05694-FullWM
2013-06-16 Killing Fields - IMG_4813-FullWM