Thursday, 5 February 2015

Day 16 - River Cruise Day 5 – To Phnom Penh

This was sunset here in Cambodia.

Today we went for a walk around Koh Chen Copper Village, it is one of three villages left in cambodia that specialise in the production of Copper and Silver Plated ornamental pieces and jewellery.

We visited a local government school here is a poster of the numbers to 40, as you can see they have a beautiful rounded flowing style of writing letters,

Here is one of the boats used in the Water/Moon Festival held once a year.

This lady is crushing sugar can with this machine to make sugar palm juice, it is very ice and not as sweet as you may imagine it would be.

Except for Phnom Penh there are no docks for the boat and we walk along planks of wood then up the banks of the river to get to the road, a little different to the European version of river cruising.

The men mould the copper into the shape of a bowl etc then it is the women who engrave the metal with the intricate designs.

We now come to Phnom Penh and we see sky scrappers and large concrete bridges etc. I was not expecting to see this city to be so modern, however when we walk on to shore the essence of the people and the lifestyle we have come to know as Cambodia is still there with the sky scrappers scattered in between the every day Cambodia.

Phnom Penh means Hill of Penh the capital and largest city in Cambodia, on the banks of the Mekong River. It has been the capital since the French colonised Cambodia, and has grown to become the nations centre of economic activities.

Once known as the the pearl of Asia it was considered one of the loveliest of French built cities in Indochina in the 1920's.

Wat Phnom is situated  a hill 27m high, Phnom means hill in Khmer. Legend has it in 1372, a woman named Penh discovered four statues of the Buddha on the nearby riverbank and placed them in a purpose build pagoda on the hill.

Statue of King Sisowath.

A beautifully carved Mother Earth Statue was inside the temple on the hill with a smaller unpainted version beside her.

Tapestry is a really popular passtime of the women here in Cambodia, they sit around temples, museums etc relaxing with other women doing their tapestries. We have seen several women with cages of small birds around the temples we are unsure what these are used for.

We were surprised to see cobblestones in Cambodia, they are made of a rock that looks like volcanic rock, however it is not as they have no volcanoes here.

Electricity organisation is the same as in Thailand.

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