Playing the tourist for the weekend

This weekend Andrew and I took advantage of the "cool" (ex. less than 95 degree) weather and a day off to explore the more "touristy" parts of Phnom Penh. We started off our day with a breakfast of rambutan, a lovely tropical fruit with a spiky colorful outside and soft, jello-like sweet inside.

Our trusty tuk-tuk driver dropped us off at Wat Phnom - a Buddhist temple situated on the only hill in Phnom Penh - and we wound our way around the different historical sites highlighted in the Lonely Planet Cambodia: Phnom Penh Walking Tour guide. 

Wat Phnom is also inhabited by a scrawny, slightly deranged-looking population of monkeys which, our guidebook informed us, are keen on biting small children and anyone with food. Needless to say, we stayed away from them...for the most part.

We stopped by Psar Thmei, or Central Market, a massive Art Deco-style building that now houses one of the largest markets in Phom Penh. Due to the airy dome, it is always cool and breezy inside the market, regardless of the temperature outside.

The food market was especially interesting. We found a few things that we'd prefer to simple take photos of instead of eating.

From the top clockwise: beetles, fried sparrows, crickets, tarantulas, grasshoppers, and cockroaches. 


We then stopped by the National Museum, first built in the 1920's, which houses beautiful relics from Cambodia's past. Of course for me, some of the more interesting parts were recent botanical additions.

And at long last, we arrived at the Royal Palace complex, which includes the famous Silver Pagoda, which has five tons of silver plating its floor. 

This is the Royal Throne Hall, used by the king of cambodia for official ceremonies.

This is a slightly out-of-place-looking iron house given to the king of Cambodia by Napoleon III. Somehow it just doesn't quite fit in...

There were innumerable stone carvings, and minute details that it was hard to catch it all on camera.

Of course I could put up all 200 photos that we took of our little tourist attraction, but it's just not quite the same as being here, for all of you back home. If you have lots of time on your hands, you can check out all our photos on our Picasa Album.

Andrew and I spent today mostly relaxing, finding a gym to work out in, nosing around Russian Market, and going to church this evening with one of our fellow staff members. The weather remains unseasonably cool, and we feel well-rested and ready for another week. We will spend this week traveling around, seeing more projects, and buying things needed for our home in Poipet, such as furniture and food stuff. 

We've almost reached our final destination.