Phnom Penh

Located at the junction of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap rivers, Phnom Penh has been Cambodia’s capital for the better part of the last six centuries. It continues to retain a rather dusty and small town feel, with its crumbling French colonial buildings, sprawling Wats (the names of the pagodas here), and the imposing and grandiose Royal Palace.

Brutal legacies of the genocide that had occurred under the Khmer Rouge have now been transformed into educational sites serving as invaluable reminders of events that must be prevented in the future. These include Tuol Sleng, which at one time was a school that was used as a torture center that is now a museum; and also the Killing Fields, an area near the city where about 17,000 men, women and children were murdered and dumped into mass graves. Of course, these sites are not for the faint-of-heart, and serve as sobering reminders of the Khmer Rouge,™s brutality and sadly, the rest of the world’s failure to intervene.

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