Phnom Penh Day 1
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A 7:00am departure for the jetty to board our speed boat that will take us into Cambodia via the Mekong. We bid farewell to Long (our guide) and our driver.
They have to complete a 7-8 hour road trip back to HCMC from Chau Doc.
Our speed boat is slightly over booked and with 25 people sharing 20 comfortable seats inside the cabin, the remainder move to wooden benches are the stern of the craft. We each receive a lunch pack consisting of water, cake, fruit and refresher towel. It will take us approximately five and a half hours to reach Phnom Penh from Chau Doc.
Boat trip is USD21.00 for the journey
When all the tourists on the speed boat have been processed we are asked to board our boat once again for our remaining journey to Phnom Penh. The entire process took from 8:35am to 10:00am.
Travelling this way provides an interesting landscape albeit that the river banks are quite high and it is difficult to view the fields beyond
On reaching Phnom Penh we met our guide "Chinda" and she took us to a delightful restaurant on the river bank called 'Titanic'. The difference in food was the first thing noticed by the group.
No rest however, for we booked into our hotel (Almond) and then Chinda had us off visiting the Royal Palace and grounds including the Silver Palace where a gold Buddha stands encrusted with over 2,000 diamonds. In the grounds we are shown a ‘Stupa’ which is used to hold ashes of those royals who have been cremated.
Before returning to the hotel, we visited Phnom Penh Hill - Phnom meaning ‘hill’, Penh meaning ‘lady’.
Some of the group elected not to join us for dinner so I organized two Tut Tuts and took the remainder to a restaurant along the river front.
Stopped just outside the Castle hotel where a group of Australian actors, notably Joel Ediston was just finishing a film shoot. Relaxing beside the busy river front road enjoying a meal sitting at tables on the footpath concluded our first day in Cambodia.