Day in Phnom Penh and Evening in Siem Reap

March 22nd ~ Traveling from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap (again)

Spring flowers at Royal Palace

Spring flowers at Royal Palace

Note: I’m still filling in the blanks from a few days I missed writing about on our Gate 1 Cambodia/Vietnam trip

The last time we made this journey, two weeks earlier, it was via tour bus. This time we flew. Much quicker this way, but we missed seeing so much. I think I liked going by bus better. 

Entry gate for Royal Palace, Phnom Penh

Entry gate for Royal Palace, Phnom Penh

But first we had a little time in Phnom Penh before going to the airport. We had bypassed going to the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda during our free days between the Intrepid tour and when our Gate 1 tour was scheduled to start since it was included for the first day with our new tour group.

Or was supposed to be anyhow…

As it turned out, the king was unexpectedly in town, which meant that the palace was closed for official business. So, we took a few pictures of the gate from the outside and a hasty substitution was figured in to our mornings activities.

Wat Phnom is a Buddhist temple built in 1373. It stands 27 meters (88.5 feet) tall and is the highest religious structure in the city.

Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom Interior

“The interior has a central altar complex with a large bronze seated Buddha surrounded by other statues, flowers, candles and items of devotion and worship. The walls are covered with murals, especially of Jataka stories of the Buddha’s earlier reincarnations before his enlightenment. There are also murals depicting stories from the Reamker, the Khmer version of the Ramayana. The newer murals in the bottom tiers are somewhat balanced, traditional and modern.” ~ Wikipedia

Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom altar

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum 

This was another repeated stop. You can read about our first visit here.

At Genocide Museum

At Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21)

We spent more time exploring the upper levels at the museum and reading the women’s accounts of forced marriages during the Khmer Rouge regime.

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We also got to meet another of the seven survivors from this camp, Bou Meng. He managed to survive because he was an excellent artist and painted the famous picture of Pol Pot. He too was selling a signed edition of his book and posed for pictures.


Joanne with Bou Meng (Got to love my hat hair)

Pol Pot

Pol Pot

And a couple random pictures to share:

Special passenger or mascot?

Special passenger or mascot?

Counting their loot

Counting their loot

After arriving in Siem Reap, we checked into our hotel, got refreshed and headed out for an included traditional Apsara dance performance.

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GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for moments of whimsy where you can watch a pampered pet wearing a hot pink coat and sunglasses go past, riding on a Tuk Tuk.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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6 Responses to Day in Phnom Penh and Evening in Siem Reap

  1. I love the photo with the dog and the glasses. Cambodia is on my list. The temples look amazing and I finished reading a book about the genocide that happened there. It’s a story not told enough because horror is unimaginable. Wonderful post! It was a nice balance of culture, humor and poignancy.


    • Wasn’t that dog precious! A dear friend just recommended that I read “When broken glass floats” written through the eyes of a young girl who survived the horrors of the Kymer Rouge. I’m not sure if that is the book you are referring to or not, but another one also recommended is “First they killed my father”. I believe that Angelina Jolie is making a movie based on that story.


  2. Random dog with shirt and sunglasses caught my attention, Joanne. I share your gratitude. 🙂 –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  3. xayriel says:

    It must have been difficult to visit the museum a second time, especially when you knew what to expect. It’s hard for me to grasp all the atrocities that happened during the regime of Khmer Rogue and I honestly admire your bravery, visiting the Killing fields and all that. For me just the mere thoughts of what happened there is haunting me and causing me nightmares.
    Thank you for the articles!


    • It was difficult returning, but this time I knew some areas to avoid. Had it not been on the second tour itinerary, I would not have revisited. Our Gate 1 guide also gave a much “softer” explanation to our group of what occurred here. I called it a “sanitized version”. From an historical and ethical point, I want to know the truth, but it is impossible to ever be the same after being exposed to the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Tammi Kale says:

    Absolutely amazing!


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