(Buildings at Sisowath Quay)
(Boats for charter at the Tonle Sap riverside)
After the short drive, we finally arrived at the boat pier where our Cambodian hosts had arranged for a river cruise down the Tonle Sap River. Since there was a number of us, we got a boat all to ourselves but individuals could still arrange these boat cruises through their hotel or one of the many travel agencies that dotted the Sisowath Quay area. We were told by our hosts that boats were available for charter from as low as USD25 for a 1½ hours cruise down the river. Some boat operators even organized hi-tea or a bar in their boats for those who want more to their experience than just sitting up deck to watch the world go by. We were happy with our no frills package as we already had dinner arranged later in the evening.
(View of the riverside from our boat going down the Tonle Sap River)
(Looking down from the top deck down to the river)
(The riverside all decorated for both the Independence Day & Water Festival celebrations)
(L: 4 star Hotel Cambodiana at the riverside, R: Charter boat on Tonle Sap River)
(Watched the sun going down on the river point where Tonle Sap meets Mekong rivers)
(L: The longboat team that came alongside our boat, R: Longboat practise run)
(End of the practise run)
(Charter boats passing this close to each other gave an opportunity for tourist to snap photos of each other)
(The other bank of the river was abuzz of activity with people coming in to watch the races)
(Modes of water transport people took to get to the other bank where the fairground was set up)
Phnom Penh was a pleasant surprise for me. It was not as modern looking as KL, Singapore or even Manila but it definitely had a distinct character of its own. The people there were friendly despite the language barriers but with a little patience, getting around in Phnom Penh was not that difficult. Halal food was not that difficult to find thanks to the numbers of Malaysians who have made Phnom Penh their second home and brought their businesses there as well. There were so much that I didn’t get to do in Phnom Penh since I was travelling in a group that I would definitely consider a return visit once I’ve completed my travel circuit of all ASEAN countries.
(Good bye Phnom Penh! I will definitely come again)