Day 2 and we were all set for some dose of Phnom Penh local sightseeing on foot. We grabbed a brunch at KFC near out hostel and set off. Oh, but before I forget we had to withdraw money from the ATM as almost no restaurant accepted credit cards (not even KFC and Burger King).
Day 2 of Phnom Penh local sightseeing
What did we do on day 1? Check out the post – Day 1, Phnom Penh. The best place to start the journey was a museum which highlighted the tragic part of Cambodia – Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
This museum is a stark reminder of the dark history of the Khmer Rouge Regime. I have been to such museums before as well but nothing compares to what I saw in this museum. Inhuman, barbaric are kind words to describe the atrocities committed during the Khmer Rouge regime.
This is not for sensitive people. Some of the visuals are so graphic, you might not forget them for at least a few days if not more. I repeat, not for the faint hearted. Don’t skip on the audio guide. It may be 3$ but its well worth the money. I was a little too shook so have no pictures from this place.
Entrance fees – 5$.
Well, for an entrance fees of 10$, it’s definitely not worth the money. What also takes away from the experience is the lack of Information kiosks/displays or even sign boards. Unless you take a guide along you are just looking at different buildings. Also, as the Royal Palace is the active residence of the King of Cambodia there are a number of areas that are off limits for tourists.
Visit this if and only if you are interested in history and architecture. Even then, makes sense to read about everything upfront.
It’s also known as Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot, located within the Royal Palace compound and thankfully, it can be covered under the same ticket. Also popular for its 90 kg strong gold Buddha made in 1907 and an emerald Buddha said to be made of baccarat precious stone.
Wat Moha Montrei
A beautiful buddhist temple with golden roof. The interiors are simple but calm and soothing.
Wat Ounalom Monastery
The monastery prayer hall was closed when we visited, but we could enter the premises and roam around the place free of charge. We did click some photos and I loved the architecture of the place.
By the time we reached Central Market it was almost closing down. But we quickly visited few stalls and brought some scarfs, t-shirts and souvenirs for friends & family. Overall, value for money. Even though the market was closing down when we visited, I can definitely imagine the rush in peak hours.
Right outside the market, you have a sea of hawkers & vendors selling everything from pork, frogs, snail and fish.
Dinner – Angkor India Restaurant
We were just walking around the neighbourhood and found this Indian restaurant called Angkor India. The manager seemed a very friendly chap from Bengal. We made an impromptu plan to dine at this place and we weren’t disappointed. The manager made sure we had excellent service and he was happy to feed fellow Indians. The food was excellent (as good as you eat in India).
After our dinner, we continued chatting with the manager about the local culture, cuisine etc. Don’t recall the exact items ordered, I think it was:
- Butter Naan
- Mutton rogan josh
- And some chicken dish
- As a bonus, the manager gave us a free dessert (I cant remember if it was Gaajar ka Halwa or Gulabjamun)
Total Diner Cost – Approx. 20$
After sometime, we bid him adieu and came back to the hostel. I wanted to experience the hostel terrace and there was a group of Russian teenagers having a ball. After a quick introduction, I joined them and then things were just crazy. Can’t put the experience in words. I am sure some of you will figure it out.
After a couple of hours, hopped into the bed and tried to catch some sleep. We had to be ready for our bus to Siem Reap at 7:45 AM.
Bus Ticket Cost – 12$/person.
You can read my review of the Envoy Hostel here.