Sunday, 8 March 2009
FuFu World Tour - Phnom Penh, Cambodia
6 ~ 9 June 2007 - Annabel & FuFu - Part One
Before scrolling down, you are suggested to read the previous posts of FuFu World Tour for Vietnam.
Vietnam Part One
Vietnam Part Two
Vietnam Part Tree
Vietnam Part Four
Spring roll with rice paper, clams, tofu, salad and roasted pork.
So continue from part four, Annabel arrived Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) from Hongkong on the evening of 5th June, 2007. Had been staying in Saigon for couples of days, i certainly brought her to my favourite restaurant - for the dinner.
Yoo, we all love Vietnamese food.
Her face told us she had a great dinner.
We walked around the district before heading back to hotel. The next morning, we woke up very early to catch a bus to Cambodia.
Our breakfast - soupy stuff with crab meat, egg, mushroom, etc.
We communicated with the couple - they spoke good Cantonese.
We walked to Sinh Cafe - a popular tourist service centre in Saigon.
We're leaving Saigon in few minutes.
We bought come local confectioneries while we stopped for a break.
The open-air toilet.
The bus stopped at the border line for late breakfast.
If you can't bear this kind of situation, take plane please.
Bus driver bought the ticket to cross the river by ferry.
The peddlers of fruits, snacks, local specialty, etc put their stuff on their heads.
It's easier for the people sitting on top of the van to choose.
And the passengers wouldn't need to get out from the bus.
Don't get shocked when the kids begging money from you.
It is still very poor - much poorer than you could imagine.
And you could see the local selling the deep fried crickets.
Crickets, an excellent source of protein that considered as a delicacy.
But the fried crickets with chili - wanna try?
Crossing the river - I got off the bus and walked around.
Oh, i wish i could help them! My poor friends.
Wow... roasted baby pig must be great, don't you think so?
They should be studying in school.
After crossing the river, the journey to Phnom Penh was continued and the driver told us not more than an hours we would be arriving the city. The infrastructure is largely lacking in Cambodia and after the border the roads are not paved.
The traffic jam in Cambodia.
We finally came to the city.
Everyone is supporting the motor-pooling campaign in Cambodia.
After six hours bus ride from Saigon, we arrived Phnom Penh, the capital, the largest and most wealthy city in Cambodia. Despite of that, it could be a rough change for those from a wealthy family. Travellers who can't handle rubbish and dust in the streets, risky traffic, blocked sidewalks, prowling tuk-tuk and motor-drivers, touts and beggars may not enjoy the city.
Double bed room (air-con) only US$8 per night.
With bathroom attached.
View from our small balcony.
Our first Khmer meal.
The lunch - fish soup and chicken fried with ginger.
Annabel and the tuk-tuk driver.
There's number of prowling tuk-tuk and motor-drivers everywhere especially in front of the hotel and restaurant. What you need to do is tell them your destination and remember to get the best deal that you afford/willing to pay. You just gotta pick the right one!
We had reached our destination.
It was full of Vietnamese visitors.
The Royal Palace was built more than a hundred years ago to serve as the residence of the Khmer King and the royal family. It's also a symbol of the Kingdom. The Royal Palace complex consists of several buildings structures and gardens with tropical flowers and plants.
Preah Thineang Dheva Vinnichay.
Preah Thineang Dheva Vinnichay (the Throne Hall) means the Scared Seat of Judgement where once the king's confidants, generals and royal officials carried out their duties. It is now a meeting place for guests of the King, a place for religious and royal ceremonies. Inside the hall contains a royal throne and busts of the Kings of the past. This building is crowned with three spires. The central 59 meter spire is topped with the white, four-faced head of Brahma.
The interior - No Photography - but somehow i managed to snap it.
The Preah Thineang Chan Chhaya - Chan Chhaya Pavilion.
The Preah Thineang Chan Chhaya (Moonlight Pavilion), is an open-air pavilion that serves as stage for Khmer classical dance in the past and present.
The Preah Thineang Phochani.
The Phochani Pavilion is an open hall originally constructed as a classical dance theatre but now used for Royal receptions and meetings.
The Preah Thineang Hor Samran Phirun.
Once was the royal rest house and waiting area where the King waits to mount an elephant for Royal processions, the Hor Samran Phirun Pavilion is now housing a display of gifts from foreign heads of state.
The French-style building that was a gift from Napoleon III, a Royal Dining Hall, and a pavilion-like theatre.
Our new friends - they spoke very good English.
They were our tour guide for Royal Palace.
Side view of the Silver Pagoda
I secretly snapped the Emerald Buddha.
Then we proceeded to the Silver Pagoda that sits next to the Royal Palace, separated by a walled walkway. The pagoda's proper name is Wat Preah Keo Morokat, which means the Temple of Emerald Buddha. It were first constructed a century ago houses a collection of priceless Buddhist and historical treasures. The pagoda compound as a whole contains several structures including various stupas, shrines, monuments, etc. Unlike most pagoda or shrines, no monks live at the pagoda.
The shrines on the pagoda ground.
You will find number of shrines and stupas here.
The stupa contains the ashes of the Cambodian King - Norodom.
The stupa containing ashes of the King Ang Doung.
The ashes is kept inside the golden stupa on the lotus.
The palace and pagoda compound is big - you need few hours
We should have put our shoes nicely in front of the pavilion.
We then learnt to put shoes properly in the cabinet after few visits.
Like all other temples in Cambodia, you gotta take off your shoes, sandals or high-heels when visiting the pavilions in the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. Girls should go there with proper attire or you will be deemed not to be wearing appropriate dress and refused to enter.
We came to a gallery that recommended by the kids
It exhibits various kind of ancient Buddha images.
Also the national costume and other ancient artifacts.
Annabel was listening to her own 'future'.
Later, we moved on to Phnom Mondop, a small artificial hill topped by a shrine containing 108 Buddha statues symbolizing the 108 past lives of Buddha. A fortune teller worked inside the shrine. We were lucky enough as we had the three little kids to translate for us. You can have your future told for a small contribution.
The Buddha images swathed in scared cloth as a sign of reverence.
Their faces turned red when i approached them.
They were way too shy to pose.
It's the time to rest for a while and cheer up with Coke.
The columns is awesomely decorated with the sacred creatures.
Wow, another awesome architecture.
The gorgeous carved and painted window door.
The fine art of the gate.
What a magnificent spire of a pavilion.
I like the architecture!
I wished i had a DSLR that time.
So i could zoom in for the close-up pictures.
We visited the model house of the local people.
We were invited to play the local music instruments with them.
This is the living space with snacks and tea set.
Annabel sitting on the master's bed.
The women hand woven clothes beside the house.
We got lot of hassle from young kids begging for anything in front of the palace.
They should be sent to school though....
Monk was walking back to the temple.
A temple stands on a hill situated not far away from the palace.
This seriously caught my attention.
The mural was nicely painted on the wall.
The monks spoke Japanese - luckily i speak Japanese as well.
They studied Japanese in the temple from a Japanese monk.
There's a giant clock in front the temple.
Annabel saw the familiar flag of her country - the USA.
I asked the locals the direction back to our guesthouse.
We decided to hold it until we walked to a better place for dinner.
What a relief, it must be a long day for her i guess.
Travelling with FuFu, you gotta be more energetic.
Wow, the local food.
We had fish, beef soup and salad.
My first impression of Phnom Penh, Cambodia is still very poor and rather dirty and filthy but people are real friendly. The Royal Palace is surprisingly gorgeous, the downtown is choatic rather charmless and extreme poverty is in excess but yet the city is captivating. We are based in a small budget hotel overlooking the busy streets. From the balcony, it was another way to see the local night life in Phnom Penh. I dozed away the night after completing the postcards.
As Annabel having shower, i wrote the postcards bought in Vietnam.
FuFu 2in1 postcards - Vietnamese postcards with Cambodian stamps.