Its been days since my last post but I have been catching up with sleep and rest (and cleaning and stuff) before I start work again so now that I got all those done here it goes, more pics from the Phnom Penh trip.
The first day had been all sunny, and since I was awake since 3am the night before....I took a short stroll over the riverfront, and a quick dinner and call it an early night. By the time I get enough beauty sleep it was 10 am the next day and I was hopeful on another bright and sunny day. Big plans....I planned to conquer the whole town in a day and hit the places outside town like the Uodong Hill and Tonle Bati but hey, it seems like the rainy season is just beginning and the sun was up only till 3pm or so everyday from then on....so it had been raining on and off for the next few days till I leave town.
But hey, I am not left with nothing to do. The town is a shopping haven, which amazed me, because for a town that has no shopping malls at all (okay, their definition of shopping mall is the mini hypermarket.....if you are looking for anything like the MidValley or OneUtama, you might have to wait for a few more years), they have a lot of markets that has practically everything under the sun.
So I left my home for the next biggest market in town....the Central Market.
The place is quite easy to find. Its just a few blocks away from my hotel at the riverfront, so I made it on foot which was about 10 to 15 minutes walk. If you are ever walking, wear lots of sunscreen. It may not look that hot, but it was 32 degrees and its very very dry. I have sunburns at the end of the second day just because I underestimated how hot it could be.
By tuk tuk the market should be about 5 mins away and it should cost not more than USD2 per person. Everytime you hire a tuktuk do agree on the price before they send you to a location, you might be lucky and get a cheaper price. Likewise, you might get unlucky and they could charge you more.
The Central Market has everything you need - from clothing to bags and shoes to accessories ....even cookwares, tablewears and electronics. They even have groceries and a market at the side, so yeah, if you need soap you can get them next to the wet market.
Its much more organised and well lit as compared to the Russian Market and despite the heat, every shop has a working fan and the shop owners are very hospitable in a way that they always try their best to make you at your most comfortable state while you shop at the stalls.
While I was at the market I found a dessert stall in the center of the market and oh my do I have sweet tooth la kan! *grin* Midway I just have to stop there and try out the desserts sold, and I settled with the red ruby which was at the first bowl at the far right corner.
To my surprise there is also pulut durian, lai ci kang and bubur kacang.
Hey hey we are not so different after all. A bowl goes for about 2,000 Riel, that's about RM2.
You do know Cambodia is famous for their precious stones right??? Get ready to be awed with the most dazzling sight in town - the gem gallery!!!!
Okay its not officially named the gem gallery but I named it the gem gallery (in which it should be) because its one of the biggest pool of gem sellers in town and if you're a sucker for stones, silver and gold, get ready to bedazzled with all things glittery....
You can bargain them and get a pretty good price. But before you do so do know how much they cost and how much you are willing to pay to be an informed consumer.
Because you might end up with a lot. Because they are really pretty. Because if you look really closely, they have a few in new cutting edge design that looks just like the ones sold in our jewellery stores in KL.
The market is a big place and you can spend hours at the place - I give myself about 3 hours before I leave for the National Museum.
The National Museum housed the history and cambodian culture, and whats beyond fascinating is their collection of artifacts of prehistoric settlements that we have always been reading in our history books (yes, the ones that tells all about the early people that settles at the Mekong River so and so and so).
That's the entrance of the museum. Sorry peeps, being a museum, no picture taking is allowed except from the inner compound - but it was raining by the time I reach the museum so I opt to not waste money by paying for a camera. Entrance fee is USD2, use of camera at the central museum compound will cost USD3.
Other exciting stuff you can find is the history of Buddhism and Hinduism. To fully understand the history perhaps its best to hire a guide, who can tell the story of each statue and what it symbolises or signifies.
Okay. I'll stop blabbing now, before everyone starts taking me for a history geek.
The Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda is just next to the National Museum, so skip the tuk tuk and just walk to the place because its really a lovely walk to the palace with all the shady trees surrounding the outer compound surrounding the palace.
I told you I dah sunburn...sigh...
By the time I reach the first gate the rain started pouring. Hard.
I was standing at the palace gates for 45 minutes before it slightly slowed down. When I decided to brave through the rain it was still raining, and I got to the hotel soaking wet.
So I saved the palace for another day.
Stay in tune for day 3 to 5.