Today was our first official day in Cambodia! This morning, we all woke up quite early, as Cambodia is 3 hours behind Sydney time. We then all got ready for the day and went to breakfast. We were quite surprised that they had fresh bread for us, and also western style spreads and foods available. After breakfast, we boarded the bus and left for the Royal Palace.
The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh is incredible. When we first got off the bus, we were amazed by the size of the palace (and also the humidity). We got a tour guide to show us around the palace grounds, and his English skills were advanced. We learnt about the history of the king, even though he wasn't there at the time, he still lives in the palace. The king is currently 65 and came into power 13 years ago. He is also a bachelor, meaning he has no wife to create heirs for the throne. The palaces were built before the Khmer Rouge, meaning they were quite luxurious. One building had 3 tonnes of silver used to cover the floor, and another had chandeliers that were the size of a table (a gift from the French king in the early 1900s). The grounds at the palace were incredible and so different to what we are used to in Australia.
After boarding the bus, we came back to the pastoral centre where we ate lunch. We then got back on our bus and headed towards the Russian markets. It took us over an hour to get there, due to the traffic, but it was worth it. The markets were a lot of fun, where our bargaining skills were put to the test! We all walked away happy with what we had acquired during our 2 hours there. Unfortunately, we got stuck in peak hour traffic on the way back, resulting in our ride home taking nearly 2 hours. We then arrived back to the pastoral centre and ate dinner.
Photos to come........