Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cambodia Trip - Day 1

If last year I was in Batangas for the holy week, this year I was in Cambodia. After a fulfilling vacation in Manila which ended on the 7th of April, my trip to Cambodia was commenced from the 8th to 12th of April. I was with my officemates Gilyn, Razel and Ate Vinz. We departed from Singapore at 6:45 in the morning and arrived in Phnom Penh after one and a half hours. We were picked up by our travel agent and went directly to hotel to prepare for a city tour. It was my first time to go in a country where US Dollars were used as means of payment for goods and other services, their own currency (Riels) was not commonly used.

Our first stop was in the historic Choeung Ek Genocidal Center or popularly known as the "killing fields". There were large numbers of people (at least 200,000) were killed and buried by the totalitarian communist Khmer Rouge regime. Upon navigating the place, we found several mass graves of victims without heads and grave for children and women whose majority were naked. After that thrilling part, we were brought by our driver Sarom in the Russian Market where we found several items for souvenirs and gifts. We met these two young Cambodian sellers and we got a lot of discounts and a free item.

After a little shopping, we felt hungry so we decided to have our lunch and it was in Khmer Saravan. The food was really nice, masarap in an affordable price. I forgot the exact name of the dishes that we ordered but we had chicken, seafood, fish and beef. The total bill was almost 45USD. Then we hurried to go to their National Museum. The building itself was really nice, an excellent architecture. Taking pictures inside the museum was not allowed (fortunately I was able to take two shots) but on the outside vicinity, we were able to take some pictures and enjoy a simple view of the garden.

Watt Phnom was the next place we visited. It was an architecture where you can see several mini temples and on upstairs, there was a place where buddhists were doing their rituals and some holy processes. There was also a huge clock on the other side that is really working! You can see the second hand moving and I was really amazed. A fee of 1USD was required for the visit but it was included in our tour package. Anyway, we visited next the Royal Palace and this place is really nice! We saw several temples that were excellently built. Since I haven't slept for almost 35 hours that time, I felt a severe headache and we decided to return to the hotel to rest as we all felt so tired because it was so hot. That was our first day in Cambodia, specifically in Phnom Penh.


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