Friday, March 16, 2012

Four Hot Pigs Heading to Phnom Penh

Daniel, Monica and I were happy to get out of Saigon and make our way to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Something about the deep blue sky as a backdrop to the sun shining through the white fluffy clouds made Cambodia seem absolutely gorgeous to me. Maybe it seemed especially magnificent because we came from the stark contrast of stale muted skies in Saigon.

At one point, our bus drove onto a ferry to cross the Mekong River. I looked down to my right and noticed four hot pigs being carried in makeshift bamboo pig holders on the back of two motorbikes. The pigs were panting and shitting and I felt very sorry for them. At least they had a bag of ice melting on their chests...

Our first tuk-tuk driver was friendly, just like most of the Cambodian people we met during our stay.

We were amazed by wide pedestrian-friendly sidewalks along the river--how luxurious!

Balloon vendor.
That's the Mekong River behind Daniel and Monica.
Cambodians like to stay fit, and they have fun in the process. Below is a photo of one of the many groups of people doing aerobics along the river, in sync with one another and the music, which was blaring from huge speakers.

At sunset...
... and sunrise.
This is what the DJ looks like.
The first night in town I wanted to take it easy after the long bus ride, so I went to a tiny movie theater called The Flicks Community Movie House to see "J Edgar" while Monica and Daniel spent a few hours exploring the city. I ate a delicious mozzarella, tomato and olive tapenade sandwich on a fresh-baked baguette, served to me while reclining on the bed in the theater.

Taken from The Flicks' website.
The next morning I woke up at the crack of dawn to explore life by the river at that hour. It was surprisingly bustling for 6 a.m.

A street vendor sold corn kernels to feed to the pigeons.
Beautiful palm-lined pedestrian walkways. I was not expecting this of Cambodia.
Fisherman down by the river.
Long early-morning shadows.
Casting the net in a perfect circle.

Some other photos taken in Phnom Penh:

Bamboo scaffolding.
Billboards and signs with photos of these three men were all over Cambodia.
I love the glass bottle delivery trucks!

I count eight people and a baby. There might be more hiding somewhere.
These two guys don't give a shit! They were dragging this thing down the street and it was making a loud scratching sound, but they didn't seem phased.
Everyone in this entire building was doing laundry.
One day Daniel and I went to the Russian Market. It wasn't that great, but they had a section that sold antiques like ceramics, cowbells and drums, which was interesting.

Happy sugarcane vendor. Those sugarcane bites are on ice.
Family of four with pet dog in the basket. Ha!
Serene circular park in the city center, with temple in the middle.
Someone stuck this guy in the wall enclosing the temple.
View of the esplanade and river from a rooftop bar.
Another tuk-tuk ride.
We spent a day visiting The Killing Fields and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum while we were in Phnom Penh. I'd have liked to spend more time getting to know the city, but we had to stay on schedule and head to Siem Reap (another overnight bus)...