Last day in Cambodia
10/1/11 - 10/4/11
Tuesday James and I spent the morning near the waterfront on the Mekong River. We saw the National Museum, the Royal Palace and we spent time just walking along the river. Unfortunately, pictures are not allowed to be taken inside either the National Museum or the Royal Palace, so I only have pictures from far away to show you how beautiful each of these were.
The National Museum hosts sculptures, jewelry, clothing, weapons, old wooden ships, and various other artifacts from the history of Cambodia. The history is broken into 3 main eras: the Angkor time, the Colonial time, and modern era. Cambodia (like Vietnam) was a colony of France for about 100 years, before the Khmer Rouge took control in the 1970's, which marked the start of the modem era of history. Most of the old sculptures from the Angkor time are made of sandstone, and are huge, larger than life depictions of dancers, kings and gods. The outside is a beautiful red colored building that looks like a temple. In the center of the building, there is an outdoor garden area with beautiful fountains and fish swimming in the ponds.
The Royal Palace is right next door to the National Museum, and is yellow in color. There is a wall all around the complex, and the buildings inside are beautiful. There is a Throne Hall, a Temple and a Silver Pagoda. When constructed, the Silver Pagoda was inlaid with more than 5,000 silver tiles! Over half the area inside the palace is off limits because the king still 'lives' there. However, Leah told me he spends almost all of his time in China now and has almost zero power left in Cambodia. The palace has a beautiful green grass area in front of it, where there are hundreds of birds you can chase, and people selling popcorn kernels to feed them much like St. Mark's Square in Venice.
Across from the Palace is the waterfront on the Mekong River and a road filled with little cafes and shops. The main road was filled with motorbikes and tuktuks, where I took this funny picture of 9 people riding on one motorbike pulling a wagon!
After we visited the waterfront, we went back to the house for a late lunch. Then I packed up my bags and headed back to the airport. My flight got back to Singapore at 9:30pm on Tuesday.