Day 3 - A stroll with Shopping

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January 20th 2018
Published: January 20th 2018
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Day 3 starts with glorious sunshine and a peek over our balcony confirms our suspicions, the health-conscious Cambodians are pumping away on the outdoor gym across the road. No expensive membership subs required! Feeling very lazy, we make our morning coffee and watch them for a while, then get down to the serious business of planning a leisurely final day on PhNom Penh. Of necessity we will stop over again next weekend for one night when we travel from Sihanoukville in the South West, to Battambang in the North West of Cambodia, however unlike some Capital Cities this has not been an endurance test. The people are polite, the streets not too dirty, and the food outlets very good. Added to the fact that our Hotel Cozyna is on the major tourist strip, allows us easy strolls to everything this City has to offer, also, we have great opportunities to just Chill and people watch, as you do, with an Angkor chilled beer in hand, just saying.......

So, good walking sandals on, chilled water in backpack with detailed city map, we head along the quay in the general direction of Wat PhNom, full description follows by photo. Along the way we pause to watch a few fishermen casting their lines from the side of the Tonle Sap river, used to seeing a few tiny fish caught, which nonetheless go into the pot, one lucky guy, strangely wearing a crash helmet, suddenly stood up, rod bent, to land a clown fish, a catch that wouldn't have been unacceptable at the pricey paying lakes, guessing a few kilos of flesh. His fellow fisherman all rush to congratulate him and there's definitely fish on the menu tonight. Pleased at his success we saunter on to Watt PhNom, whose history is contained on our photo below. A pleasant hour spent browsing here.

Heat rising, we navigate our way to Central Market and are blown away at the choices within. From traditionally produced crushed ice to antique filigree silverware, they've got it all. We haggled and bargained with limited success, coming away with 2 pairs of light trousers for Paula and 2 light shirts for Leo. Total cost $14 (UKL 10) maybe a bit expensive, but our haggling skills not honed just yet.

Weaving our way homeward, we have late lunch near hotel, huge plate of lightly battered king prawns with spring rolls and spicy dips, washed down with a glass or two of Angkor then back to room for siesta. Lots of people watching. Just a note, there are always locals of all ages peddling along the quays, restaurants and bars especially popular haunts. As much as we wave them on, we know that Western Tourists are a target, we have much, they have little. So each day we allocate a couple of dollars to see people smile, can't change their fortunes, but helps us feel better. There's a disabled man, mid-fifties without legs, who shuffles miles every day in search of offering, not trying to sell stuff but giving a big smile, He's our 'cause', and for USD1 per day (restaurant worker recommended rate) makes us feel we are not too unaffected by the inequality of lifestyle. We won't mention the contributions made to cute children, too many to mention.

Outside our hotel, there's something afoot! A massive cleanup campaign is underway- the quayside is being scrubbed within an inch of it's life, we know it's Saturday night, but is there an important visitation underway? So much water, so much soap, so many eager participants sweeping. It doesn't stop the exercise fanatics though, they carry on regardless.We wonder if the King is visiting for impending Chinese New Year. As we leave for Kampot early tomorrow, we doubt we will find out. Really enjoyed Phnom Penh, would not hesitate to recommend it to any travellers. Onwards and South Westwards, we leave by train at 0700 tomorrow . Dinner tonight again at Mother India, having worked with several Indian Companies and travelled extensively in Asia, Leo rates this Restaurant very highly. So coffee on the balcony and early to bed. New town, New adventures.

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