So everything you read about entering Cambodia over land is horror stories, from being stuck at the border for hours to having to pay very inflated fees because you caught the guard during a bad day. Whether this is true or not we will never know, our crossing was quick easy and painless. The whole trip was easy and a bit of an eye opener. We thought Vietnam seemed to be a poor country, although the main cities were nice and modern, some standards are much lower than home. Driving through the country side of Cambodia was amazing, and more so was seeing people enjoying their lives even though clearly there is alot more poverty here. From our first few hours in the country we could already tell the people were much more friendly than previous cities, and the people that we spoke to were just curious about where we are from.
From the bus station we hired a tuk tuk to take us to a hotel and he brought us to his friends (common practice here). The place was quite simple, but nice and cheap enough, so we stayed. For the rest of the day we explored and ate the local food, which was delicious and suprisingly different than Vietnams.
We planned on leaving for Sihanookville and the islands surrounding in the morning, however apparently it was election day and nothing was running until the following day. Instead we went to see all of the landmarks in the city to fill the time, but each and everyone was also closed, very dissapointing... so we decided to upload photos at a nearby internet cafe instead. When we were leaving our hotel the employees were all downstairs celebrating election day being over and invited us to join them. The beers were extra cheap because it was a party, and they shared their seafood dishes with us and taught us about different things and words in Cambodian culture. The next day we saw a few sights early before heading south via bus.
We visited the Royal palace, which was beautiful. A few areas we were not allowed to enter however, because the king was on the premises, which made it seem a little more cool. Next to this we also visited a place called the Silver Pagoda. This name comes from the fact that the entire floor on the inside is made from silver tiles, but this was not its most impressive feature. The whole temple is dedicated to 2 Buddha statues, one is very small but entirely carved from jade, and the other stood as tall as me and is solid gold and adorned with many diamonds and jewels. These were very beautiful, although as in most religious buildings we were not allowed to take a single photo inside.
For a capital city Phnom Penh was much quiter than I would have expected. However even though the people were the nicest we have met so far, the street children were the worst. If you bought anything from one all of the other kids would harass you telling you its not fair and that they are starving because of you (even though it was quite clear they weren't just by the clothes that they wore). If you didn't by a thing from any of them the harassment was worse, and their english, especially swear words, was unbelievably good. All we could do was ignore them, and we did and went on with our exploring.
So finally off to tropical paradise....