Phnom Penh

13 - 14, 20 - 21 May 2004.

Phnom Penh used to be called the "Pearl of Asia", we found it stunning in places and seedy in others. It sits between the Mekong, Tonle Bassac and Tonle Sap rivers, and is home to many great temples and museums.

This is us inside the Royal Palace complex. Top-of-the-bill here is a silver pagoda that has 5000 solid-silver floor tiles that in true Cambodian rag and riches style are covered up by a rug and held together with sticky tape!

Most of Phnom Penh look and feels of faded glory.

The people try and rebuild after the Khmer Rouge and the politicians are the nuevo rich skimming 10% off watever limited money is generated from economic activity or more likely 'given' through foriegn aid.

Jasons' "Reseviour Dogs" style, monk money-shot.

Lee Stanley made another appearence at the temple complex.

A local park had tame monkeys enjoying the lazy Saturday afternoon. This one seems to have a touch of elephantitis.

This was thunder and lightning over the lake where we stayed. It started a pretty moody evening of smapling the "Wild East" nightlife of Phnom Penh with Phil and Nicole.

That night, Claire had to make sure that Jason got home OK as he seemed to go down hill after too much Jack Daniels. She should have been worried earlier in the evening when he stood on the roof and surfed the tuk tuk down Phnom Penhs main street.

It was pleasant to come home to a huge rat running around our room. Yuk.

Phnom Penh does have a cool sort of faded-glory feel to it. Whilst having a bit of a rough-and-ready Central America style feel to the place, combined with its obvious poverty it could be a great city again if the government keeps its hands in its pockets and doesn't eat all the rice!

Complete with hangover, Jason and Claire join Jo and Dan for a five hour bus journey to the beach.... luckily this photo is the tuk tuk and not the beach.

Other fun included the great National Museum rammed with Angkorian Art, and on a more serious note checking out how nice the Khmer Rouge were by visiting Choeung Ek killing fields and S21 prison.

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