Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

vibrant phnom penh

Posted by Hippo Bean at 10:53 PM
The much anticipated commotion finally happened and I turned around to see it. John Kerry had materialized and now shaking hands with dignitaries, journalists and reporters alike. We were having dinner at the Touk just across the street from the FCC (foreign correspondents club) where the US secretary of state was visiting. After Kerry walked into the covered part of the club, I returned to my savory beef lok lak. I love the food in this country. However, my coconut shake was simply juice, nowhere as good as the ones in Laos. The open air restaurant was so noisy, we could hardly hear anything straight. After we finished our dinner and came down to the street, we were amazed the security wasnt as tight as expected. A few police around and just 1 intersection was blocked with merely 2 police cars. We strolled along the bank of the Tonlé Sap river. The city was vibrant. Lights illuminated the Royal Palace, facing the confluence of the Tomle Sap and the Mekong. Street vendors sold fried spiders and squids. Tourists and back packers mingled with locals. tuk tuks, bikes and cars zig zagged on the narrow lanes along the river bank, ancient rock blasted from every bar to be mixed with local khmer songs. The air smelled of diesel and lemongrass. It reminded me of a typical southeast asian city. I didnt expect phnom penh to be so.

The morning started with a visit to the Royal Palace. Gorgeously decorated temples and buildings again with a small but interesting museum, which showcased the royal guards attire, some royal household items, royal chairs. However, after 2 weeks of buddhist architecture, the wow factor has now been reduced to mundane. The rest of the day was a depressing visit to the killing fields and the genocide museum.

Second night dinner, Borey took us to the Cambodian version of Students restaurant that served expensive tapas. The menu was limited, the price was high and the amount of food small. I had the fish cakes which were delicious. High quality with low quantity. I was still hungry. Not as good as the Makphet in Vientiane. After dinner we went to have a drink at the FCC and admire the evening view of the town and river from the top open air floor. We sat on high stools facing the river and the view was marvellous! All the lights, people and traffic noise, the smell of the city, the cool breeze from the river, the clear moon. I could sit here forever!

An evening stroll along the tonle sap river was refreshing. Right in front of the Royal Palace you could admire where the Mekong met the tonle sap. i quite liked this city. To my amazement.

Phnong Peng photos:



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