Phnom Penh

By 30th June 2016Cambodia

I had read that the days of Cambodia’s reputation of being the wild west of the east were over although there still seemed to be evidence of it in places. Within 500 metres of crossing the border at Bavet, there was a casino, and this continued further on down the road. Gawdy hotel / casinos lined the bumpy highway for around a mile or two like a mini Las Vegas. Not the strip but more like a rougher round the edges Fremont street. The road eventually turned into a more rural landscape and children ran out of their houses shouting hello, helloooo, hellllllloooo! along with the occasional dog giving chase.
I shared a few shelters with some Cambodian residents along the route to Phnom Penh throughout the day, they kindly offered a seat for me when they could. The weather had been bouts of intermittent torrential rain throughout so it was a stop and start affair. By the end of the day, it had turned into a mud bath. I mean this in the most literal sense as well. One house I passed there were children bathing in huge puddles that had collected outside their houses, they were having a whale of a time running and doing dive bombs into the puddles.
Riding into Phnom Penh was crazy. It was still pouring rain and the roads were destroyed, only really fit for a 4×4. And the traffic was hectic. The roads had been good up until now, though, a lot better than what I had thought. I arrived looking like a wet dog although received a more than pleasant welcome from the staff at Lovely Jubbly villa hostel.
I went to check out the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh. The museum itself was a pretty nice building, inside there was a huge collection of sculptures of ancient Hindu gods such as Shiva and Vishnu of different sizes and styles.
Not far from the museum was the Royal Palace. It had a couple of impressive buildings although in a very modern style. The palace grounds were impressive although I whizzed through the whole place pretty quick. I really was more interested in the old style architecture of Cambodia such as the temples at Angkor which would be my next stop on the journey.

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