Cambodia, Day 3: Phnom Penh (The Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda) + Vlog

Just in case you missed:
Cambodia Day 1: Siem Reap (Tonie Sap Lake)
Cambodia Day 2.1 & Day 2.2: Siem Reap (Temple Hopping)

To be honest, our trip to Phnom Penh was more of a stopover to Sihanoukville than a purposeful visit. You see, the trip from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville is up to 6 hours so to pace ourselves, we spent 1 night in Phnom Penh. We took about  4 hour bus ride  with Giant Ibis with no guide but we were guided to the bus interchange from the hotel to make sure we are safe and on our merry way.

There were about 3 stops along the way which I really didn't take note the name of the pit stops. We only went out to stretch our legs. We were not hungry mainly because snacks provided by Giant Ibis was filling enough for us.

It was a smooth ride where we were entertained by the outside surroundings, movie and a toddler on board. Before we knew it, we had reached Phnom Penh, greeted by Ms Sreyneang and then headed for lunch! Just a 1 minute walk away, we were at Titanic Restaurant. (I know! the name! lol)




This restaurant was along side Tonie Sap River. Yes, the same one that was connected to Tonie Sap Lake that we visited on Day 1. Food was absolutely delicious!



After lunch, we headed to the royal palace. The place was huge and beautiful. It's design was recognizably Khmer but can't help to remind us of Thailand.

We didn't get to visit every building there because obviously there are limits and privacy. Even when we did managed to enter them, no photography and videography was allowed. It was truly a shame because the interior was absolutely jaw dropping.

The throne hall was beyond amazing. I mean, who can not stand in awe with gold sculptures, silver décor and such? The throne hall is still being used for official acts, diplomatic meetings and religious events (eg Royal Weddings).




Chanchhaya Pavilion is the most exposed building from the outside of the royal palace. It is because of this, the king does make his speeches and/or witness parades in the streets of Phnom Penh.





We get to visit their little quaint museum which traditional Khmer clothes and artifacts. The only complain we had was the place had barely any ventilation and the place was hot like an oven!

Each color represent a certain position.



These are their royal outfits and just like the Malay community, Cambodians get to wear such outfits on their wedding day to represent the "King and Queen" of the day!



Creepy mannequins.







One of the interiors of the Pagoda has a long mural called the Ramayana Frescoes. The mural is now all weathered down but fret now, restoration is under process.



Yes, we also get to visit the infamous Silver Pagoda. Yet again, unfortunately, no photography & videography allowed but inside, it was home of the emerald Buddha, a life-sized diamond encrusted Buddha and gifts given to the royalty collected over the years which are mostly silver and gold. Not only that, the floor was completely covered by silver (not the color but material) tiles; 5,000 of it! Of course due to the visitors, they had to cover it with carpeting to protect it from wear and tear but we do get to see it at the sides.


This area also holds a few stupas which has the ashes of the royalties.







After the oohs and ahhs, we took a short trip to Naga Casino but not before passing by the Victory Monument and Independence Monument.



Casinos are not our thing so we just went in, look around, used their toilet and we left. haha



One thing we can't wait to visit was our hotel, the Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel. It was a newly constructed 5 star hotel and after all the traveling and walking under the hot sun, we can't wait to rest for a while. This hotel room was definitely the best among the ones we stayed in Cambodia. We wished we can stay longer! The room was so spacious, we could do a run to and fro for exercise.









Okay, after this, there was shortage of photos. I don't know, Jhon was probably tired and had no mood. Anyways, we rest for about 1-2 ours before meeting Ms Sreyneang again for dinner. I didn't catch the name of the restaurant but unfortunately, in terms of food, it was not delicious and satisfying at all.

As we travelled back and forth, we got to experience Phnom Penh's traffic and night life. We are morning people so you will never see us 'enjoying' the night life lah. We just can't wait to hop into the warm bath tub and enjoy our huge room.

Here's our vlog for the day. It has definitely more footage than the photos posted here.
Hope you guys, enjoy!



   

Cambodia, Day 2.2: Siem Reap (Temple Hopping at Angkor) + Vlog

Continuation from Cambodia, Day 2.1: Siem Reap (Temple Hopping at Angkor)

With stomachs full, Thea brought us for our complimentary massage. To be honest, I've never been to a massage place for a body massage. All these while, the massages I've got are foot massages and body massages were strictly at home by Mak. I was apprehensive but as long as I get a room with Jhon, I would be fine. I didn't catch the name of the first massage and spa. All I knew the one we're supposed to visit but its electricity was down. So we were brought to another place nearby.

S.O. Angkor Khmer Massage and Spa looked normal outside but when we were ushered to a room, our internal alarms were ringing. The room had a high ceiling and on the floor were 3 mattresses with pillows. We were given loose shorts and shirts to wear for the massage. I mean, look at Jhon. He looked like he was locked in jail. haha



Despite of the ambience and being dodgy looking. I got to say, we had the BEST massage ever! I had requested for a foot massage but the lady also gave me a shoulder massage. Jhon even had a head massage. For a first timer, it was truly weird to be placed in funny positions or even been massaged in a unconventional way but it felt so good!

Feeling refreshed, we headed to Angkor Wat also known as the city of temples, the largest religious monument in the world. It was initially a Hindu temple for God Vishnu but was gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple. Angkor Wat is also the best preserved in the area which means what you see is almost exactly how it was when it was built.











They believe this plate is exactly where the middle of the earth is.





























Phnon Bakheng is located on top of a hill. Getting to the Hindu/Buddhist temple was quite a climb but it depends on individual's stamina. This temple is popular spot to catch Cambodia's sunsets amongst the beautiful temples.



Unfortunately for us, it has been a cloudy day. I mean, it was good for trekking but for sunsets, it wasn't helpful. We were actually debating if it would be worth waiting for the clouds to pass but the sky was completely blanketed by clouds. It was a disappointment because I was truly looking forward to experience Cambodia's beautiful sunset again. We simply explored the temple, took our breaths and headed back down.







Up next, we made a quick visit to Artisan d'Angkor. We were supposed to visit them on the first day but since time didn't permit, it was moved to second day. Artisan d' Angkor main aim was to revive Khmer's ancient arts and crafts. Not only that, they also provide welfare and education to those interested. We get to go through their entire workshops on every category, from painting, restoring, silk-making, stone & wood carving and much more.













Not part of the itinerary but Thea took us to Old Market (Psar Chas) for souvenir shopping which I greatly appreciated. I know I said I am not a shopaholic but I do shop, okay? I've been eyeing to buy Cambodia's pants because Jhon bought for me the last time he went there and I love it.



Everything was dirt cheap and yes, I went crazy for a while. There are several restaurants too but we already had our reserved spot in a another restaurant.

Which brings us to Viroths Restaurant. This restaurant is probably the most fancy one we had been to in Cambodia. Not only that, the food were on point! Cambodia love their barramundi or least the ones we were served are always that fish and I wasn't mad. They just introduced me to a new favourite fish. Just in case you are wondering, throughout the entire trip, we only requested only vegetables, fish and/or eggs.





Lastly, we ended our day with Rosanna Broadway Show. To be honest, we were not having high hopes on it. Not because we don't like drag queens or anything like that. I'm a big fan of Ru Paul's Drag Race and slowly pulling Jhon in. It's just that it wasn't the main thing we were looking for in Cambodia. Just like the traditional dance we watched on day 1, Thea did told us that we could leave early if we wanted to.

It did crossed our minds mainly because we were exhausted from all that walking, trekking, climbing the whole day under the sun. Little did we know, it was actually the best drag show we ever watched! Everyone was expectedly gorgeous, funny and entertaining! We watched the entire show with complete satisfaction.





It was nice to end the day with laughter and a satisfied belly. Even more so to a warm bathtub and lavish bed.

Here's a quick vlog of our day 2 in Cambodia!