Phnom Penh Travel Blog› entry 23 of 41 › view all entries
August 5th, 2008 – by: semiperipatetic
On our bus journey we see smiling people, beautiful countryside, countless kilometres of rice fields and palm trees. We also get the typical in-bus cambodian entertainment, consisting of the same 5 songs (which all sound the same) over and over again. The videos are always of a young couple being in love while dancing in the countryside and include scrolling lyrics for the fans.
We also get a good feel of the Cambodian monsoon. The pouring rain gives Phnom Penh a gloomy look. Before the bus comes to a stop, we are greated by a group of men who smile at us as if we're childhood friends. The tuk tuk drivers have spotted the tourists and by the time we hop off the bus they have almost blocked our way screaming offers. After a lot of bargaining under the rain we find our way to the guesthouse.
At the same time, the riverfront is the site of classical buildings built by the French, and also the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. The area of the Royal Palace is a replica of the one in Bangkok, but not as impressive. It is worth a visit since it is part of the "other" Phom Penh, that of glamorous Asian and European architecture, but the intricacy of the palace, the temples and the murals does not match that of Bangkok's equivalent.
Phnom Penh is also the home of the best Asian market I have seen up to now. The Russian Market to the south of the city centre has it all and in great quality. I bought two beautiful painitings made of eggshell, enjoyed piping hot noodles with skewers on the side and kept gawking at the intricacy of the handicrafts. Nothing looks cheap, yet the prices are that of a flea market. You can even find spare parts for a tuk tuk!
But most of our time in Phnom Penh was spent visiting the sites of the Khmer Rouge atrocities.
For the darker side of Phom Penh's history, see my next entry.
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