Today we are heading to four places - Phnom Da, Phnom Chisor, Prasat Neang Khmao and Ta phrom Temple. Our first destination is Phnom Da which is located in Takeo province. During the wet season, Phnom Da can only be reached by boat. Although it would be fastest to Phnom Da by boat from Angkor Borei, it cost USD25 to rent the whole boat. We chose to travel by car as we wanted to save cost.
Most of the visitors who visits Angkor Wat would normally only spend about a day or two at Phnom Penh, hence they seldom visit the places mentioned above as they are already temple "burn out".
On the way, Narith went to pump petrol and asked us to pay him US$20 first. At first, we were sceptical about this as we scared that at the end of the day, he still collect US$60 from us. I double checked with him and confirmed that later we only pay him US$40. Although this day trip cost us US$60 ~ S$84, Narith only earns US$50 and US$10 is given to the travel agency Bon Voyage which recommends him. Narith told us that his actual earnings is only US$30 after deducting US$20 for petrol.
We chatted on a lot of things, asking him about the culture and custom in Cambodia. He told us about his family background and how they survived the Khmer Rouge regime. His mother has 12 children but 4 sons and 4 daughters died during the Vietnam war and Khmer Rouge regime. After hearing this, I feel really very sad for his family. At the same time, I also feel very blissful that I am born in Singapore and never encounter these. It is also very interesting when Narith told us that the Cambodians also have Ching Ming Festival.
We left at around 11am and head to Phnom Chisor. The journey is about an hour.
Phnom Chisor (Chisor Mountain) is 100m high and 503 steps lead to the top of Phnom Chisor where the temple ruins is located.
As we only eaten half of the baguette, we brought along the remaining half and ate it while we climbed the steps. It was very hot and scorching as we reached here around mid noon.
We finished our breakfast and we hang the rubbish bag on the railings since we are coming back the same way later and I dont want to add on the additional weight on our bag. We did collect the rubbish bag later. I'm not that unenvironmental friendly.
This elephant must be painted recently
Big declining buddha
Finally we see Phnom Chisor temple
Dunno what is this?
The temple was built under King Suryavarman I during a period when Angkorian Empire was powerful and on the rise. As most Angkorian temples of the period, this temple is Hindu, dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu.
Phnom Chisor temple
Spot the temple in the center?
Temple in ruins
Black & White
On our way down, a local guy tried to strike a conversation with us by asking where we are from and whether we need to hire taxi. We told him that our taxi driver is waiting for us at the bottom of the hill. He said "I want to talk" and we replied him that we can talk on the way while going down. Then he took out his handphone so we guess that he wanted to take photo with us. After that, he asked for our handphone number, I bluff him that we left our handphone in Singapore and ignored him.
This is the local guy who tried to 搭讪
When we reached the foot, we saw a stall selling coconut and we bought one for US$1 ~ S$1.40 to quench our thirst.
Much bigger coconut than yesterday one
Narith told us that he had make a reservation at a restaurant for our lunch so we are heading there now.
On our way there, we passed by Prasat Neang Khmao and stopped for a while. There were no visitors at all except us. Admission is free.
Prasat Neang Khmao (temple of the Black Virgin) consists of two deteriorating brick prasats (towers) built in the Angkorian-era in the 10th century A.D. under King Jayavarman IV. There was probably at least one more ancient prasat where the modern pagoda now sits. Prasat Neang Khmau was originally dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The temple complex is named after Neang Khmau, ‘Black Lady’, a modern-era statue located in front of the temples.
Prasat Neang KhmaoModern pagoda
SurroundingsMy sis using her hand to beat the drum
Me & Narith
We left shortly and head to the restaurant for lunch. Actually there is not need to make reservation as there were no diners except us. My sis thought that the restaurant is air-conditioned. Narith ordered 3 dishes - Chicken soup, Fried egg and Fried vegetable with beef. Yummy, the fried egg is delicious. The egg is fried with fish and pork. The chicken soup has a strong lemongrass smell and a bit spicy. The beef was very very tender. We also bought a local Cambodian fruit on the way just now. The fruit is a bit sour, dun really like it. Our lunch is very cheap, only US$5 ~ S$7!
So many sauces
A local Cambodian fruit
On the way, we passed by some stalls and bought barbeque frog and palm fruit. The barbeque frog cost 2,500 Riel ~ S$0.70 and 5-6 palm fruit cost R1,000 ~ S$0.35. The palm fruit shell is similar to coconut and the fruit itself is very juicy.
Road under construction
Ta Prohm was built under Jayavarman VII in the late 12th century during the same period that Bayon and Angkor Thom in Siem Reap were constructed. (Do not mistaken it for Siem reap Ta Prohm.) There are 2 temples at Tonle Bati - Ta Prohm and Yeay Peau. Ta Prohm is the more extensive and impressive of the two. The admission to Ta Prohm is US$3 ~ S$4.20
Once we got out of the car, adults and kids selling flowers and incense surround us immediately. They keep saying "Sister, buy flower". Each of us bought a flower for US$1 ~ S$1.40. The kids told us to follow an old lady to a small shrine to pray to the buddha. Then after that, the kids asked us to donate to this old lady. We donated R5000 ~ S$1.75 as we do not have US$1 in our wallet.
After that, we went into Ta Prohm and the kids keep following us and asked us to buy more incense and flowers. We ignored them and continue to explore Ta Prohm. After a while, they gave up and left.
Able to spot the Singapore Dollar? I wonder who donate it
After spending about 15 minutes in Ta Prohm, we left. The kids appeared again and keep saying "Monday no school" and I pondered for a while before realising that they are actually saying "Money no school" .
On the way back to Phnom Penh, we stopped by the roadside and bought milk fruit. This is another local fruit which Narith introduced to us. The fruit taste sweet and is a bit like mangosteen and soursoup. We bought 20 milk fruit from a stall for US$2.50 ~ S$3.50, damn cheap. My sis commented that this stall owner can closed her stall today since we bought so many from her.
When we are reaching Phnom Penh, the traffic was moving at crawl speed. We saw few tourists who are Caucasian cycling along the road. The traffic here is not suitable for cyclists as there are too many motorists and they can u-turn in the middle of the road which is dangerous.
Narith asked us whether we would like to use his service tomorrow as we mentioned that we are going to Oudong tomorrow. He told us that he will be charging us US$40 ~ S$56 to Oudong and Mekong Island. We had booked with another taxi driver online who charged us US$30 to Oudong only. Since Narith service good and the price is reasonable, we took up his offer. He even thank us for giving him the chance.
Comparable to Ho Chi Minh City
Tourist cycling in Phnom PenhRoad sign in Phnom PenhWater tank for the city
We passed by Olympic Stadium. I wondered why it was named Olympic Stadium since Phom Penh never hosted Olympic games before.
According to Wikepedia, the stadium was constructed in 1963 and was completed in 1964. It might be built to host the 1963 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games (origins of Southeast Asian Games) but the games were cancelled due to political problems in Cambodia. The stadium played a small part in the 1966 FIFA World Cup. It hosted the North Korea vs Australia qualifier since North Korea had difficulties finding a suitable venue for the match.
I like this Orange scooter
We reached the Guesthouse at around 5pm. We paid Narith the remaining US$40 and went back to our room. We decided to eat the barbeque frog and palm fruit before going out to explore the surroundings.
This is the Capitol guesthouse which is located at the corner of the main road and the street where our guesthouse is. Imagine if we were to stay here, we would not have undisturbed sleep since there are so many cars and motorcycle horning on the main road. Crossing the roads here is similar to Ho Chi Minh City. My sis was hesitant to crossing the road and I just drag her along.
We walked along the street to see if there are any local food to try and we passed by Orussey Market which caters to the local. The shops in the market generally sell essential items rather than souvenirs.
We saw quite a number of stalls selling balut (duck fetus egg) which we dare not try. Balut are duck eggs that have been incubated until the fetus is all feathery and beaky, and then boiled alive. The bones give the eggs a uniquely crunchy texture. Popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac and considered a high-protein, hearty snack. They are enjoyed in Cambodia, Vietnam and Philippines. Quite disgusting and cruel rite? Click on this link for the photo taken when this blogger ate it in Cambodia.
We walked around and nothing really fancy us. We just bought a sausage and some meat stick (similar to satay) for R6300 ~ S$2.20 back to the guesthouse for dinner.
Barbeque sausage and meat stick
After we finished the food we bought, we went to the guesthouse lobby. My sis make a local call to the taxi driver which we previously booked to inform him not to come tomorrow. We lied to him that we changed our flight so we are going back to Singapore tomorrow. The local call only cost R2000 ~S$0.70. It would cheaper to use the hotel/ guesthouse to make local call compared to our handphone which is damn expensive. I used the internet service for 1 hr which cost R2000 too.
There are a lot of television channels here including cable channels, around 60+. There are even Channel 8 and Channel News Asia here.