Monday, 14 September 2015


an even earlier start,

as we had booked a sunrise cruise,

so on the boat before 05.00 in the morning,

it was still dark,

as we settled down deciding where to sit,

we had the whole boat to ourselves,

breakfast is served,

although early, 

there were many fishermen already at work,

we past the floating dry dock,

and made our way down stream,

past boats still tied to the jetty,

and into the Mekong river,

just as the sun started to rise,

and very nice it looked too,

one slight problem though, 

there was a lot of cloud,

as we made our way past the boat we were on yesterday,

some of the fisherman's boats till tied up to the shore,

it was now getting light,

as we looked inland,

the sun trying to pierce the clouds,

in just a few minutes it was appreciably brighter,

the sun well up from the horizon now,

we passed a few more fishermen,

checking their nets,

as two of the roll on, roll off ferries past each other in the main channel,

the sun crept higher,

as we neared the ferries,

and boats made their way past us,

with car engines mounted on gimbals to power them,

we were now on the other side of the peninsular on the Mekong river itself,

where most of the fishing families,

live side by side,

many now making a start on their day,

the other side of the hotel we do not normally see,

looking back towards town,

the boats bobbing gently in the swell,

we continued along the river,

until we past the last,

of the moored boats,

no luck so far,

we kept near to the bank,

so we could watch the fishermen at work,

and also look,

at some of the riverside properties,
great if you like fishing as a hobby!

by now the sun was well up and hidden by cloud,

so another coffee each and we headed back,

we had such a nice time despite there not being a full sunrise, 

we made our way back past the fishing village,

as more boats took to the water,

and made our way back past the peninsula the hotel is on and into the Tonlé Sap river,

where more boats were moored,

one of the huge river cruisers came past, we both thought to ourselves, 'one day'.

with a last look at the river we were back to the hotel, 

to pick up Mark and made our way to the Wat Phnom that Phnom Penh is named after,

 it literally means Penh's Hill, 

taken its name from the present Wat Phnom,

as in many Buddhist shrines,

it is considered good luck to buy a release a few birds,

we made our way around the middle section of the hill,

passing some Chinese looking statues,

then made our way to the top,

past the flower seller,

and many,


shrines which dot the temple,

there are many areas to make offerings,

eventually we reached the top,

guarded by mythical figures,

we past a few more places of worship,

before making our way down,

to the lower steps,

a final look at the temple,

then we were now off to the Central market, 

we found these stalls just outside of it,

selling flowers and bouquets,

I watched this gentleman for some time, he writes messages on the ribbons that go on the bouquets,

passing the outer stalls, we made our way into the covered area,

it is a large market constructed in 1937 in the shape of a dome with four arms branching out into vast hallways with countless stalls of goods, the Initial design and layouts are from French architect Louis Chauchon, construction works were supervised by French architects Jean Desbois and Wladimir Kandaouroff, when it first opened in 1937, it was said to be the biggest market in Asia, today it still operates as a market, from 2009 to 2011, it underwent a US$4.2 million renovation funded by the French Development Agency,

having said we were going in, there were still a few vendors just before the entrance,

inside the main dome,

Diana thought I would look nice in this so we bought one,

and a couple of things for Diana,

next past the fresh food stalls,


lots of it,

fresh and dried,

we left the Central market,

where we said our goodbyes to Mark, we passed this small car, I do not know what make it is but a great city car for out here I would guess,

once again into a tuk-tuk,

and off to the so called Russian market,

it is not so spaced out as Central,

the aisles narrow,

but the stalls packed,

literally from floor to ceiling,

there is a sales assistant in there somewhere,

the number of stalls,

in this section alone,

selling artifacts was just staggering,

they seemed to go on,

and on,

elephant anyone?

I am not sure what this is or if it is the right way up, but there it is,

more than a few stalls selling, 

locally made paintings,

of local subjects,

a sale for one lucky stall owner,

I am not sure what Diana bought, 

I was too busy looking around,

these lacquered bowls, 

and pots looked so colourful,

we made our way through soft furnishings,

I would guess you would call this area,


and materials for sale,

I watch this artisan for some time,

we continued our walk,

household items here,

perfumed goods I guess,

past a small fresh fruit section,

and past another craftsman,

shoes and hats,


and towels, shopping finished we decided that we would call back to the Central market in the next few days and complete our buying spree there,

we made our way down a side street,

to where we had left our tuk-tuk and went to our next stop,

the Tuol Svay Pray High School, later named by the Khmer Rouge as Security Prison 21,

as you walk inside there is a map of the layout,

there are two main blocks with several smaller buildings,

as you follow the route around you pass the graves of the last prisoners to die here,

we made our way into each of the grim buildings,

looking across the courtyard,

on one building the barb wire has been kept, to was to stop prisoners jumping headfirst to their death rather than endure the torture they were subjected to,

inside each building there were almost countless pictures of people that had been brought here to be tortured to name enemies of the state before being killed,

the schoolyard, where the screams of happiness from school children were replaced with the cries of mercy in such a short time,

it was harrowing and upsetting to think that at least 17,000 people came here to be murdered,

and this is just one of the 150 known security prisons that the Khmer Rouge set up, it was so upsetting for Diana she had a nightmare about the place and the terrified faces from the pictures there,

spirits uplifted as we walked back, to find out tuk-tuk driver have a few ZZZZZs,

on the way back the rain came,

as it only can in the tropics,

so only one thing for it, a beer on the balcony,

watching the rain,

and the clouds roll in,


well two or three of them,

after a shower and change off to Olala,

it is a restaurant on the riverside,

a mango slushi for Diana,

a red wine for myself,

so eyes down and look in,

a Caesar salad for Diana,

which was huge,

prawn tempura for myself,

Diana must have been hungry,

as this large pizza arrived,

along with our main courses,

Lasagna with salad for Diana,

I went for the salmon steak,


inside the restaurant was nicely laid out,

our waiter for the evening who took good care of us,

we decided to move outside for a few cocktails,

 Diana ordered passion daiquiri,

but I think my one was a called a mud slide,

it had chocolate on the inside of the glass,

Diana had a second,

as a mobile fruit seller walked by,

another for me,

a pina colada ,

I then decided on a B 52,

a mai tai,

was what I Think Diana ordered, 

so here goes,

I guess it is a down in one,

which still left me with a white Russian to deal with,

by now the road was getting quiet,

so one for the road and we were off, what a great day and evening,

arriving at our hotel a cleaning was taking place, with the amount of wood carving in the foyer it means that a lot of dust can collect on the woodwork, so a worker with a ladder and vacuum cleaner has a clean up every so often,

goodnight to the statue,

a quick look over the city, then for us we were off to bed.

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