The 2 hour journey to Phenom Penh took 8 hours (I assumed that the roads would be good… stupid bugger!)… The journey was fine though and in no way as bad as the Penang to Bangkok… remember that? And we were given a complimentary custard filled bun and a bottle of water… F**k National Express this is living!! National Express would give you a complimentary rip-off price and a kick in the wallet.. good ole rip off Britain!!
You could see the damage the floods had done though…just the roofs of the houses were poking out of the huge mass of water were all that was left of many of the villages. Having said that this is a natural occurrence (flooding) pretty much every year and the houses – or some of them – are set up for it. They build them on stilts; either bamboo or concrete (depending on how much money you have I guess). All the livestock is by the side of the road, so you see cows, chickens, ducks… I’m suprised the bus didn’t take out the lot in a mass accident… I can just see the headline “Bus involved in mass cow, chicken duck carnage” 🙂
Anyway, the journey was pleasant and we arrived not too tired into Phenom Penh for a four night stay before heading off to SihanoukVille (on the coast). The capitol is what you’d expect… cars, bikes, noise, congestion, beggars, hawkers and every other walk of life. Our hotel is actually a pub- the name is a giveaway – called The Local, and run by an Aussie. The room was basic, but had everything you need, including my favourite – a bath! But we did socialise a bit more here, as its full of ex pats – hard drinkers and talkers. The setting was fantastic, as it was right by the river where everyone gathers on an evening. The locals come to dance and do aerobics and its very entertaining.
We did the obligatory city tour in a tuk tuk. Its a very small city, and you can do it in a day. So, more bloody temples, but one of them had some fantastic murals, and we were the only ones looking at them. Masses of people were being led by the nose by guides, and not one stopped at these wall paintings. Why you might say? Because they are really old, so they depict Vishnu and the Naga Gods of old, not their new found relgion of Buddism. They would love to wipe memory of this ancient religion of serpent kings and flying gods.
Mural of Ancient Vedic Tales
We’ve decided not take any more photos of temples after this or you are going to get very bored with our photo gallery! The museum was good though, with a very nice courtyard and some interesting carvings which me and jane argued over the meaning. You know jane, she sees flying lizard people and spacemen in everything.
The National Museum of Phnom Penh - Aaaah (Yawn) seats!
Phenom Penh Silver Pegoda Palace...er... Yawn!
On our first night we found a nice little restaurant and as we were eating an elephant walked past. A big elephant. Absolutely brilliant! She ws happy becaue it was raining and cool… so she did what she was told:)
We met a guy from England (hello Tony) in there too he was talking about his job as a upholsterer for the movie business… so of course I was in my element asking questions… he’s worked on Elizabeth, Pirates 4, The Bond movies and loads of others… nice fella and gave me his phone number to call him for a tour of Pinewood Studios (where his workshop is) when we get back… I will be calling mate don’t you worry 🙂
It’s been a good stay here, but I’m glad to be getting out of another city. Looking forward to Sihanoukville and the Gulf of Thailand… if money allows may even get a dive in 🙂