More of Khmer!

Part 3 of 8

Thanks to AngkorBeer 🙂 , the following day, we woke up a little bit late for our meeting with Thyda. Our tardiness wasn’t that obvious though since we managed to rush everything before Thyda arrived. Haha!

Thyda took care of us in the morning. For breakfast, she brought us to Le Palace. I tried the Khmer Chicken Rice, which is similar to the Chicken Rice of Thailand and Singapore. I guess they just differ in the spices.

After having our breakfast, she drove us all the way to the Killing Fields. It was quite emotional for me when we got there ‘coz I felt for the families of those who were tortured. We saw hundreds of skulls displayed in a tall building, the area where most people were tortured and killed, and their mass graves.

An hour after, Thyda drove us back to the city for our visit to the Royal Palace. We did a quick stop at a bakery where we got some of the popular French bread (you can actually see this kind of bread sold in every corner of Phnom Pehn). We passed by the Russian Market but we decided not to do our shopping there since we still had to go to Siem Reap, Vientiane, and Bangkok. Thyda drove us to the rich people’s village too, before we finally made our way to the Royal Palace.

The visit to the Royal Palace was remarkable! The Throne Hall, which is the King’s receiving area, is literally gliterring with gold. We weren’t allowed to take photos though, for some security reasons. From the Throne Hall, we were able to see the King’s residence. One notable structures of the Royal Palace was a European style building, which seemed out of place from amongst the other grand Cambodian palaces. This structure is said to be the first permanent building in the Royal Palace site. We also went to the the Silver Pagoda, which is attached to the Royal Palace complex housing the different kinds of Buddhas adorned with diamonds. We wandered around the Royal Palace for over an hour and practiced our photography skills with its grandness. Of course, Thyda, our dear local guide, never failed to answer our queries. 🙂

It was almost lunch when we finished our Royal Palace tour and we proceeded to a local restaurant near the bus station for a quick Khmer lunch. Sophie and Tra both joined us for lunch. The lunch was still great – oh, I love Khmer food! I would have wanted to stay longer! But our bus was to leave at 1 p.m. that day, so they sent us off to the bus station a few minutes before Mekong Express departed for Siem Reap.

This was another unexpected event of our trip. I loved my stay in Phnom Penh despite the not-so-good traffic system (I actually became disoriented while walking around the city). But it didn’t matter anymore. The people and the food were superb!

(Here goes an appreciation to Thyda, Sophie, and Tra, for making our Phnom Penh leg really memorable for us!)

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