Woke at around 7.45 this morning to find Teena still sleeping so just waited for her to wake up. She apparently did not sleep well so I am glad I left her sleeping.
After indulging in breakfast we were determined to go to the Palace etc. and tick that off our to do list. Not quite as hot this morning thank goodness. Duly walked around to the Palace to find that it was shut until 2pm so just continued walking past the Palace, hung a lefty and did a 4km walk around to 174th street and then back down Norodom Blvd to 136th street where we again stocked up on some water and oranges before heading back to hotel to retrieve our map and Teena’s water.
Now getting very hot out there so we opted to take a tuk tuk to Wat Phnom and then the Russian Market again. Found our little tuk tuk man “Peter” again and putt putted our way to Wat Phnom where you now have to pay $1 to visit the temple. Had to pay the attendant to look after our shoes only 100 Riels (i.e not much at all) while we looked inside the temple. A lot of people at the temple today with their lotus offerings – guess they missed the celebrations yesterday.
Lots of little sparrows and finches in crowded cages being touted as good luck to buy one and set it free. Of course I had to spend $1 to do just that but I am sure the little bugger flew around in a circle and was the one pecking around the cage I released him from just 15 minutes before by the time we left!!!!
Back in our tuk tuk “Peter” drove us to Central Market instead of Russian Market but hey one market is the same as the other in Asia. Teena managed to find a couple of pairs of sandals but looked like a dripping tap while trying them on!
Time to head back to hotel for another shower (we are averaging 3 a day between us) and another chill out from the oppressive midday heat.
Teena managed another 2 hour nap while I fiddled and read. Determined to get to see the rest of our list of must see sights, we headed towards the back of the Palace to the Friends ‘n Stuff store which works with marginalised young people in Cambodia. Purchased myself a tote bag there as the leather one I have just cant fit enough water bottles to do us. Next we headed towards the Daughters of Cambodia store which was just around the corner. This organisations works with former prostitutes to retrain them for hospitality and retail experience. A lot of them have been sold into prostitution by their family. Got to look at the carving and painting stores along the way.
Well, we thought it was and we just kept walking and walking along Street 178 but couldn’t find it! Got to next large road intersection and caught tuk tuk back to the Royal Palace only to find out that it was still closed!!!!! Snapped a picture of the new style tuk tuk which is making a big appearance on the roads - fibreglass and no charm at all about them John - as I said, progress is arriving big time.
Damn – decided we would try once more to find Daughters store and succeeded this time = the motorbikes all parked out the front disguised the store first time. Had a quick look in store then went upstairs where we enjoyed a huge chocolate chip cookie, coffee and tea, then back downstairs where I purchased a handmade teddy bear, tshirt and scarf.
Teena was going to buy something but they ran out of paper in their Visa machine, so she cracked it and didn’t buy. Surely they must have had another roll of paper somewhere. Their loss. Wanted to go to Romdeng restaurant to perhaps buy some roasted tarantulas – for $3.75 I would have happily left them if they were too gross. However, Teena is petrified of spiders and refused to go to the restaurant. Not much point really, it was only to show her. Oh well, win some, you lose some.
Settled for a Burger King chicken (real chicken) burger then a Blue Pumpkin sorbet icecream after another look through the dvd store. Felt as full as the proverbial googs by the time we arrived back at the hotel. Quick repack of our suitcases ready to leave here by midday tomorrow to go to airport. However, there will be one last goddam attempt to see the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda before we do.