Getting Around and About Phnom Penh

I am always excited in boarding a plane knowing that I am headed somewhere. Some people find it scary during the takeoff and landing but for me they’re the best part. First, as the plane takes off, it means I am about to start the journey; secondly as it lands it means the journey – began. We were headed to the country once known as “Pearl of Asia”. I remembered us calling this trip “Temple Run” as Cambodia houses numerous temples. On the otherside, we had an idea that the weather in this country is hot but we underestimated our understanding of “hot”. It was extremely hot and dry, with a temperature that can reach as high as 36°C. One can really get impatient, as it was uncomfortable to walk around because of the sweaty and sticky feeling from touring the place. To add to this, you can even get a migraine. But what choice did we have? We planned a trip that falls under the dry season, then we must grin and bear it. Don’t forget the sunscreen! DSC02908

As we got to our hotel, the Hotel Angkor International (now Angkor International Hotel), we tried to cool down and freshened ourseleves a bit before we start our sight seeing.

We booked a tuk-tuk for a whole day, to take us to the tourist attractions.

Their tuk-tuk is a longer version of our tricycle
Their tuk-tuk is a longer version of our tricycle

DSC03151We headed first to the home of the King, the Royal Palace.  (Admission at  25,000 Riel, Open Everday from 7:30 – 11:00 and 2:00 – 5:00)

IMG_4826              DSC02964 It was like a big secret garden with great palaces within the complex.

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Left: the Moonlight Pavilion Right: I think that’s the Royal Rest House

the Throne HallAnd of course, The Throne Hall, the King’s primary audience hall

DSC02982after our quick hide and seek with the Sun..   We headed to our next stop, literaly just next to the Royal palace

The Temple of the Emerald-Crystal Buddha,  the Silver Pagoda.

Silver Pagoda 1 A temple in silver tiles, where they keep national treasures, and Buddha statues.

Silver Pagoda Collage

DSC03033                  DSC03046We left the palace and went to the hill temple, the Wat Phnom. (Admission fee of US$1.00)  

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Phnom Penh got its name from this temple. A legend story of a widow named Lady Penh who found a koki tree with 4 statues of bronze Buddhas inside.  The wood of the tree was used to build the temple now known as Wat Phnom.

     DSC03103A miniature shrine that can be seen almost anywhere in Cambodia is called a Spirit House. Usually with incense and flowers, believed to provide shelter to their ancestors. Understanding religious beliefs can go a long way,  but to be honest, the spirit houses are gorgeous. Seeing the locals do their offerings and prayers actually demonstrate strong beliefs and faith.

We left Wat Phnom and moved to Wat Ounalom.  We wanted to see the place as it was the main temple for Buddhism in Cambodia. Unfortunately, we arrived a little late as it was already closed. (Opening Hours: 6:00 – 18:00) 

(next time I guess)

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Situated near the temple is the, Independence Monument.

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After taking photos and taking a quick rest from walking.  We went to a place wherein we expected much from it.

The Phnom Penh Night Market at Sisowath Quay

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To be honest, we got a bit disappointed with the items on sale.  So instead we walked our way to a nearby restaurant to have dinner.

After a heavy load of meat and fries, we walked our way back to the hotel, around 15-20 minutes walking distance from Sisowath Quay.

We ended the night trying their local beer, and singing Happy Birthday to our friend as well. (and yes, that was a free dinner)

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