Cambodia – Day 1

Our second stop on our travels was Cambodia. As I mentioned previously we were going to visit Bangkok, but there was lots of political protests going on there so we switched our destination. I had no idea what we would find in Cambodia, I did some brief researching when we decided to change our destination 1 week before we were leaving. So it was a quick search and in pictures it looked very pretty with it’s ancient temples and sprawling untouched  lands. So with that we booked our new flights and we were set.

Day 1

Flying into the Phnom Penh Airport and looking down at the landscape everything just looked brown, then we started seeing more buildings, and closer to the airport it looked like a normal built up city.

Our first order of business was to exchange our money over to the Cambodian dollar, the Riel. The conversion rate was crazy it’s about $4000 Riel to $1 USD. So that pile of money in the window is only about $100 USD. We eventually found out that it wasn’t really necessary to convert out money because everyone took USD, but you live and learn, right?

 

After getting through customs and exchanging our money, we made our way to the front of the airport to the taxi line. Right outside the airport doors there was a KFC, apparently it’s quite popular there. We got our taxi and were on our way to our hotel.

On our ride to our hotel we noticed that everyone here drives a motorbike and they will fit as many people as possible on one bike. Some bikes had about 5 people of them, they even took babies on the bikes. Something you would never see in the US. A second observation was that there are close to no traffic rules. Everyone just kinda drives wherever, either side of the road, on the side walks, doesn’t matter. This makes crossing the road quite stressful.

Our hotel was really nice for the $50/n price. When you choose a hotel online from just reading reviews you’re always a little scared of what you will find when you actually get there. It almost felt like we were at a resort and you almost forgot you were in the middle of such a poor city.

Our first stop was the pool bar for lunch before heading out of our first day of exploring. It was really pretty eating next to the pool. They had little swim up cabanas for lounging. It felt very tropical and the food was quite good. They also have Coke Light instead of Diet Coke.
After lunch we headed off to the National Museum. This wasn’t a very big museum and it was mainly lots of Buddha statues and figurines, but it was interesting still. It didn’t take too long to go through, so luckily that had a very pretty courtyard in the middle where we could wait until our next stop opened.

 

Once the Grand Palace re-opened at 2 pm we made our way over there to get in line to enter. The Palace sits right along the river and there’s a very pretty open field between the Palace and the river.

 

 

After the palace we went back to the hotel to rest and shower before heading out to our first nights adventure of seeing a play back at the Museum. The play was done by the Cambodian Living Arts association. It was all students and they did a great job! It was all in Cambodian so we didn’t understand any of what they were saying, but luckily they had the English translation on a screen above the stage. The costumes and the play were really good!

I’ll continue with day 2 next since this is getting long!

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