First Stop in Asia!!
10.07.2013 - 21.07.2013 33 °C
After over 13 hours of travelling, I have arrived at my first stop in the region of Asia! I arrived at 10:20 am in Phnom Penh on July 10th. The journey to get here from Melbourne was about 10 hours of flying, plus a 3 hour layover in Kuala Lumpur. The flight was with Malaysia Airlines took me the 6,847.3 km from Melbourne to Phnom Penh and cost $796.40 for the one way ticket. So, now I am in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and it is like a whole new world over here, it's soooo different from any of the other places I've been to so far. I am staying at The Raffles Hotel Le Royal. It is a beautifully renovated colonial era hotel in the heart of Phnom Penh. Although the hotel is fully renovated, you still get a great feel of the history that was there. Here are some pictures of it:
Today is July 13th and I have been here in Cambodia for 4 days!! On my first day here I was really tired so I just explored the hotel, lounged by the pool, visited the famous Elephant Bar and talked to some of the employees about places to visit in Phnom Penh. On my second day (July 11th) here I visited The Killing Fields. It was a highly recommended tour by everyone I had talked to. The tour of The Killing Fields gave me a much better understanding of Cambodia's history and the hardship they went though only a short time ago. In 1975, Phnom Penh fell under the rule of the Khmer Rouge (a communist group) and all the city's residents were forced to go to the countryside and work in labor camps. Around 2 million Cambodians died by starvation, torture or execution in the 3 years that they were ruled by the Khmer Rouge. The story is absolutely horrific, and visiting The Killing Fields was very depressing, but it was one of those tours that you just HAVE to go on. Here are some pictures from The Killing Fields:
Yesterday on July 12th was a day full of Temples!!! I visited Wat Ounalom which is a huge temple with lots of buildings. The environment was very calm, and there were monks sitting around everywhere. I went to the main building and was able to hear the chief monk give a sermon. Although I did not understand anything that he said, I was happy to sit there and enjoy the peace and calm of the environment. After Wat Ounalom I went to Phnom Chrisor Temple which is on the top of a hill and there were 509 stairs to get up!! The view of the Cambodian countryside from the top was really cool, and the temple itself was very architectually interesting. After those two temples I went to The Central Market, which is like a huge flea market in the streets. It was very clean and made for tourists, so the prices were very high, I did not really enjoy the market for the reason that it was so touristy. Some of the locals told me to try visiting the Russian Market, the prices are much lower and it is not as full of tourists, so I will definitely try that. Here are some pictures from my busy day yesterday:
So, now we are caught up to today, July 13th. Today I am planning on visiting the Russian Markets and buying some souvenirs!! Also at some point before I leave Cambodia I am going to leave Phnom Penh and go to Siem Reap, which about 4 and a half hours away, to visit Angkor Wat. It is the largest hindu temple and the largest religious monument in the whole world. I am extremely excited to visit it. Also, the best thing I have eaten so far in my stay in Cambodia in Amok, which is the most famous Cambodian dish. It is usually made with chicken, fish, or shrimp, plus some vegetables, I chose to get the fish. My Amok was served in a hollowed-out coconut!! Heres a picture of the Amok I thoroughly enjoyed:
I will catch up with you folks in my next stop; THAILAND!!! Thanks for keeping up with me guys!!