A Travellerspoint blog

Phnom Penh - Saturday, 4 February 2017

Royal Palace and National Museum

sunny 38 °C

Slightly later morning today and we left the ship at 9am to visit the Royal Palace. We have to have our knees and shoulders covered for this visit and it is quite hot and humid.

The Royal Palace is lovely - just like the palace in Bangkok. There is quite a Thai influence in the buildings here.

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The National Museum is a magnificent red coloured building. It is my sort of museum, not one with glass cases of minute things, but instead, a collection of statutes from different periods during Cambodian history. Very interesting, but again, no photos allowed.

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Back on board, we sailed for Koh Chen and after lunch I attended a demonstration of the Krama (Khmer Scarf) which we were given last night as a turn down present. We also received one while we were at Raffles.

In the afternoon, I went ashore for a walking tour around Koh Chen, the silversmith village. When we opened our balcony door, all we could hear coming from the village was tap, tap, tap - the people working on the silver.

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It is really hot and humid and there is no breeze blowing. It is quite a nice village and reasonably clean.

Some of the faces of Koh Chen.

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There is also a monastery here.

This gentlemen is 83 years old, which is amazing because most Cambodians only live till their mid sixties. He was a professor and survived the Pol Pot regime by saying he was a porter, not a teacher, because they killed all them. Luckily, he had used a lot of weights as a young man and had calloused hands which made them believe his story that he was a porter.

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After the regime ended, he returned to his village and immediately started teaching and made sure his children were well educated. In turn, after becoming successful adults, they built him a beautiful house in the village, with electricity, air conditioning and a fridge. He wrote a mathematical equation on the board and he all just looked blank and he worked it out. Phil didn't come on the walk through the village, but he would have been able to work it out for sure.

Peter and Yvonne from Sydney and Elfi and Ingrid came to our room for pre dinner drinks and we had a lovely time on the balcony, chatting, drinking champagne and watching the most glorious sunset.

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Posted by gaddingabout 06:26 Archived in Cambodia

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