Thursday, April 13

Phnom Penh

After 4 days in Sihanoukville, we were ready for a change of pace. We were actually getting kinda bored with the beach. So we headed north, back to Phnom Penh.

We'd spent a night in Phnom Penh on our way to Sihanoukville, but didn't get a chance to do much exploring. So we went back to check out the city. And what a great city it is. Scenic, river-front, friendly people, elephants in the street - all the things that make a city great.

The view from our hotel.

The elephant. Of course. Every city needs one.

Phnom Penh also has some beautiful temples.

A temple downtown.

Another temple downtown...

Our favorite part of Phnom Penh, if not one of our favorite parts of the trip, was wandering through the temples and universities, chatting with the monks. At first we were intimidated by them, but after initiating a conversation with one monk, we realized that monks are typically friendly, well-educated, and very eager to practice their English. As we were walking around looking for and interacting with the monks we came up with some monk-centric slang... it went like this....

"Quick! Don't miss the monk-ortunity to take their picture"

"Let's go take pictures of them at Monk-iversity, sitting on their Monk-ercycle..."

In all seriousness, we had a great respect for the Monks. It turns out every Buddhist male has only one opportunity in their life to live as a Monk. Some do it for a long time, some for only a year or so. But once you have given it up, you may not go back.

After a day wandering around the city, we made arrangements with a tuk-tuk driver to pick us up the next morning for a tour of the surrounding areas, including the Genocide Museum, the Killing Fields and the countryside. As depressing as it sounds, we were really looking forward to learning more about the fascinating history of this area. But that's for the next entry.

-Tom and Jessi


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