|We headed to Cambodia by a public bus at 7:30 am. We were picked up at our hotel and went to the Bus Station to pick up other passengers, mostly Cambodians. The bus attendant collected our passports & $25 USD for the visa. He had 50 passports piled up on the dash and busily filled out all the visa applications. We arrived at the border in 3 hours. However, it took 1 1/2 hours to get through security on both sides. As we drove through Cambodia, we noticed many casinos. We had a quick lunch stop. The land here was noticeably flatter and dry. There was less traffic and more bicycles. Two wheeled tractors were used to transport things. The people seemed poorer here. Water buffalo were trying to cool off what little water they could find in ditches. This is the dry season! At times there were lush green fields due to irrigation. Many houses are built on stilts. The burial plots are mounds of dirt with cement doors like a crypt. Eight hours since this morning we arrived in Phnom Penh. This city is slowly recovering after the Khmer Rouge tore it apart in 1975. In the 50's and 60's it was considered the most beautiful city in Asia. After we checked in, we had a cyclo tour. First we stopped at the Independence Monument. Built in the 1950's, it marks Cambodia's end as a French Colony on Nov.9, 1953. Wat Phnom was our next stop. Legend has it that in the 14th century, Lady Penh fished out a Koki tree from the river which contained 4 or 5 Buddha statues. She built a small hill (phnom) and placed the statues there. Later in 1926, a large Stuppa was built containing the remains of King Ponhea Yat(1405-1467). We did not get to go to the Royal Palace because a large part of the city is cordoned off due to the mourning for the King's father. Tens of thousands of people were in town for his cremation. We had dinner and drinks by the Toule Sap River.