Phnom Penh: Hot…

Our first day in Cambodia has been good, but very hot. On the whole, it feels a bit cleaner and more ordered than Vietnam.

Mekong River waterfront in Phnom Penh.

Very few places here have air conditioning, including the museums. We visited the National Museum, which had a lot of sculpture and art from early Cambodia. We had lunch at the cafe there, and it was amazing – one of the best meals we have had on our trip. We tried the fish amok (a mild coconut curry) which is a traditional Khmer dish. It was really fresh and flavoursome, and arrived in a coconut, what a novelty! We also had a lime, lychee, and mint smoothie – delicious.

We then visited the Royal Palace, but by that point it was starting to get too hot to spend much time there. Photos of the inside are not allowed, but the outside gives you an idea of its grandeur:

It feels a lot hotter here than it did in Singapore and Ho Chi Minh, even though the temperatures are about the same. Singapore had lots of trees and Ho Chi Minh had lots of smog; Cambodia has neither, and the sun really beats down in the middle of the day. One of my pairs of trousers go really dark when they get wet, so I had a sweat-stained butt for the whole of our first day (I felt VERY self-concious, and bought some new trousers on the way back to our hotel). We’ve seen some locals in hoodies though! How they don’t get heatstroke, I don’t know…

There are lots of temples here and many Bhuddist monks walking around in their beautiful saffron robes. They leave their clean ones drying on the balconies of the temples, which is quite a cool sight.

The old and the new: Bhuddist temple against a backdrop of high-rise apartments.