I have never enjoyed sleeping quite so much! We had so many plans for today – to get organised and start seeing Cambodia… But slept half the day away today, catching up on what we’d lost and resetting ourselves. Definitely the right decision though.
We rolled out of bed at lunch time and dawdled our way to getting ready. The city looks so different by day – last night as we left to find some dinner the receptionist stopped us to warn us to hide our bags inside our coats to avoid getting mugged! (Great thing to hear as you head out into the dark with no idea where you are going!) – but by day the city was much frendlier. You’re stopped every 5 seconds by someone asking “tuc-tuc?” and lots of locals staring at you, but with friendly faces. The smell of fumes and barbecuing meat mixes in the air to create a heady smell that isn’t all that bad actually. I’m growing fonder of this place, although I’m looking forward to getting out of the city, too.
Determined not to waste the day, we went to check out the Royal Palace and it’s park which overlooks the Tonle Sap River. It was pretty grand and bustling with locals and more pigeons than Brighton!
I don’t know if it was my overly bright coat (which the locals found hilarious) the fact that I’m a weird foreigner, or maybe I’ve somehow become the face of a really weird advert or something but I kept being grabbed by people so they could take a photo with me… At first I thought they were trying to offer to take photos of us infront of the monument, so politely declined. But apparently that wasn’t the correct answer so they waved phones and ran after me to grab me for this photo, linking arms with me and posing…! Weird, but feeling like a proper celeb now.
I managed to take a video of us attempting to cross the road afterwards like a couple of idiots! Enjoy…
Today was good for planning out the rest of out time here and sussing out the area. I went of a hunt for a little shop to find what weird and wonderful snacks they had. The flavours of crisps on offer is something to be marvelled at. I bought Cuttlefish Flavour and was given Honey Crab.
For dinner we wandered a little to find somewhere new, and saw a lot of places looking very upmarket and charging for it, which wasn’t what we were after. But we stumbled across a small restaurant which didn’t have a big shop front or menu on offer, but it had lots of locals inside, basic seating and great smelling food. Sold. And we weren’t disappointed. The food was excellent, and worked out at under $2, plus there was a machine which squashes sugar cane and bring out its juice. We tried some of this (for about 25p!) and it was DELICIOUS!! Why do we not have this in England? Oh my god. It’s the best. So fresh, and sweet with a unique flavour.
After food we saw a few more local sites and then continued to plan out our time here. Tomorrow we are going to The Killig Fields and S-21 so that should be interesting… In a harrowing kind of way. I’m reading First They Killed My Father out here – a book about the Civil War in Cambodia from the viewpoint of a 5 year old girl. I wish I’d had time to finish it before coming here, but it’s been so interesting. It really helps me understand what happened here and the heartbreaking stories that so many people who are here today must have.