April 14: More of Phnom Penh (Independence Monument & Te Nat'l Museum).
Happy New Year! Well, okay, it's Khmer New Year! And that means that Phnom Penh is NOT the place to be, which is where I was. Everything, including restaurants, closed down. The streets, which are normally insane with traffic, were empty. I walked around the city, visited the museum, and discovered randomness as usual.
Inside a tuk-tuk! Ok, this was far from my first ride, however, it might have been the most amusing. I think the guy who usually drives was on holiday and this may be his son or nephew. A ride that takes 15 minutes to walk to nearly one HOUR for them (another was recruited meanwhile to help) to drive! Every five meters we stopped to ask directions - interesting way to get a tour of the city!
A drive-by shot of the palace.
The Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Monument. Many cities have these. In 1979, the Vietnamese (tired of years of border-fighting) stormed into Cambodia and ended the 4 year civil war / genocide. I can't help but wonder what would have happened to Cambodia if the Vietnamese hadn't invaded.
Vietnam and Cambodia are friends! Yaay!!
The Independence Monument. Many cities have these, too. This is to mark Cambodia's independence from France, who were slow to let go of their grip in the end. (Where were they during the bloody civil war?)
Oh yeah, god bless America! Colonel Sanders, you are EVERYWHERE. (I don't even think there is a McDonalds in the country). But you can get really good fried chicken on the streets - a drumstick will run you about $0.50.
Very cool bridge, with the naga snakes styled after the temples at Angkor.
The National Museum. I'm not really sure why I went. I hate museums. But a tuk-tuk driver talked me into it (and a ride) and everything else was closed.
Dumbo must have had a run-in with Medusa.
Apparently, there is no photography allowed in the museum, so this is one of the few shots I got. Wild looking.
I found all the little buddies that belong in the temples. Would have rather seen them there - it's hardly as if this place is temperature controlled.
A ninja-shot snapped before getting accosted. Seriously, even the Louvre lets you take photos, guys.
These would look so cool at Angkor. It's like they created all the people for the temples.
Kind of reminds me of the Terracotta Soldiers.
Yeah, just chillin'.
Walking home from the temple - Phnom Penh has very beautiful sections where children can run and play.
Along the river front. I really loved Phnom Penh. Good thing, too - I was stuck there for ten days!
This sign stopped me in my tracks. After looking like a fool laughing at a government organization, I had to snap a photo.
I love how all the roundabouts have neat decorations in the center. Hello, Buddha.
After feeling trapped in our expensive guest house restaurant, we decided to venture out and see if anything was open. We found a few noodle vendors (with questionable contents) that sounded like a dinner party to us!
As we were eating dinner, we found ourselves in the perfect spot for front-row fireworks views. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!