Ok, I have to admit it, I have no much interesting story to tell during my stay in Phnom Penh *or I got boring of writing already??* Anyway, I wasn’t visiting Tuol Sleng Museum and The Killing Fields (Choeung Ek) . I have been avoiding Chu Chi tunnel in Vietnam, and why on earth I need to visit another disturbing site, in Cambodia? I feel deeply sorry for all the Khmer people who have been tortured and killed during the Khmer Rouge era, but it doesn’t mean I have to visit the evidence, right? Anyway….those bones should be burned according to the Khmer people believes, so they can “go” peacefully. But, no bones no tourist…. so, the bones still there, sad… so sad, isn’t it?
Anyway, there are many interesting places in PP, apart from Tuol Sleng Museum and The Killing Fields ….. No goosebumps, only beautiful arts, such as National Museum, Royal Palace, Wat Phnom pagoda, and Central market, they all walking distance! Unlike Tuol Sleng and Killing field that located quite outside the city, so…..we need to hire tuk-tuk, or simply book a day tour. National Museum are full of ancient artifact, stones, statues, reminds me a lot of Museum Nasional at Jakarta, but this one, looks more organized.
Nastional Museum looks red, literary! Most of the walls was red painted, the architecture is amazing, beautiful! While, the Royal palace looks gold. Almost all building there looks yellow or gold. I was thinking that The Silver pagoda, inside the Royal palace complex would be silver painted! Hahaha! No! The wall are white, but the floor are silver! Not silver paint, but totally silver plate, tiled all over the room! How it feels to walk on silver tile? I don’t know, cos the walk path are covered with carpet. Something funny about Cambodia : they use both USD and Cambodian Riel together!! Yes! This country has 2 currencies! I wasn’t sure about it, so we exchanged a little dollar for some Riel, before leaving Vietnam. Well, actually it wasn’t necessary…. Even the traditional market people using USD too! So, how this system works? Easy, they use Riel to replace cent in USD. 1 USD is around 4000 Riel. So… if the tag price is 1,5 USD, u can pay them 1 USD plus 2000 Riel. If u pay them 2 USD, they will give u 2000 Riel for exchange! Fantastic, right? They use dual tag price in the supermarket, Riel and USD, soooo handy! Well, not so handy, actually……I got a little probs when I want to buy some little-useless-things-called-souvenir. The price will looks like this : 5 fridge magnets cost 2 USD. How could I bargain? Instead of asking lower price that would gave me some headache, I always ask for more amounts. So, I will ask for 7 fridge magnets for 2 USD. At the end of shopping time, I felt proud of myself for getting good prices….. but, now I got too many fridge magnet and key rings….. sigh!
I was staying in Europe Guest house in PP. Good location, right in the tourist area, clean, u can book any tourist service here, but no b-fast. The owner was so funny and helpful! He is kind of “confusing kind”. He looks like Chinese, his nationality is France, he found himself as French, he speak France and Germany. He married a Khmer woman, living in PP, and still speaks no single words of Khmer! I was thinking about taking Mekong Express bus to Siam Reap, it cost around 10 USD. Later on, after some discussion with the guesthouse owner, we decided to take Sorya Transport, only 5 USD! He convinced me that Sorya is not bad at all, and he is definitely right!