Playing the Tour Guide

Last week in Phnom Penh, we had some friends visiting from another SP office in Asia. They wanted to see the highlights of Phnom Penh, so we hit up all the spots we hadn't seen since our first time in Cambodia 2 years ago.

One of the highlights of our first day was finding a coffee roaster near Psaa Thmey (Central Market) in downtown Phnom Penh. We haven't tried the Laos Arabica coffee we bought there, but it was exciting to find a roaster who, according to the coffee bag, had been around since the early 1970's and roasted coffee on-site from Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

We spent some time wandering around Wat Phnom, a very old temple site that's been around for nearly 700 years. People still come here daily to worship and leave offerings for ancestors, hoping to appease spirits and earn good karma for their lives.

After Wat Phnom, we headed to the river and hopped on a sunset cruise. After the ridiculously hot temperatures of the past few weeks, it was refreshing to catch the breeze coming off the river, as well as enjoying the riverside district of Phnom Penh as the sun slipped away.

The next day, I headed out with our friends to hit up Russian Market (which, sadly, didn't get photographed at all), the National Museum, and the Royal Palace. These sites pretty much tell the story of Cambodia. The National Museum is home to dozens of sculptures and artifacts, some over 1,000 years old. It's always amazing to me how ancient Cambodia's culture is. I come from a country where "old" is the age of my grandfather, and very little remains of the last century or millennium.

The National Museum

Tile - just one of my fascinations with traditional Cambodian architecture - beautiful.

Part of the Royal Palace grounds.

Ironwork on a door, depicting a Buddhist angel

Another temple in the Royal Palace complex

A miniature of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap

It was a pretty tiring day, but so enjoyable to revisit places I haven't seen in a few years. And I think it was good practice for when our friends and family will come and visit us here in Cambodia {*ahem*} - we're just waiting for you!
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