Monday, April 13, 2015

Phnom Penh Day 2: Wat Phnom & Khmer Surin Restaurant

Our second day in Phnom Penh was packed with activities to visit places that play significant role to Cambodia. We crammed all the visiting into 1 day only as we wanted to save on the driver. Hiring driver for 2 days is too expensive and besides, all those places can be visited in a day if you plan your itinerary carefully.

So far, we have visited The Royal Palace, National Museum & Central Market. Our next destination is Wat Phnom, the famous temple set on a hill that plays a significant role in the beginning of Phnom Penh.

The entrance fee to Wat Phnom is $2 and we're not sure if guide is available at the ticket counter as we seek refuge at shaded spot from the hot sun while one of our friend purchased the tickets. Therefore, we were clueless about the significance of Wat Phnom. All that we know is it is rated as a must visit spot in Phnom Penh. Fail tourist we are, I know.

Well, I did a little research when drafting this post and the legend has it that it is tied to the beginning of Phnom Penh. Back in 1372, Lady Penh (Yea Penh) fished a floating koki out of the river and 4 Buddha statues were found inside the tree. She built a hill (Phnom) and a small temple (Wat) which is how Wat Phnom got it name, source here. In Khmer tradition, lady has higher power if compared to man. Our tour guide in Angkor Wat told us that Phnom Penh if translated from Khmer language stand for Lady of the Mountain. 

Wat Phnom is the busiest temple in the capital.Local and tourists roamed the temple for prayers and visit. They offer the release of bird for a small fee if you're interested to release one. And you can buy flowers as offerings and incense to light at the shrine.

During our visit, a prayer was going on. It was interesting to see them playing the music instruments which are very similar to Iban instruments.

Wat Phnom
St 96, Norodom Boulevard
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

By the time we were done with our visit at Wat Phnom, it was around lunch time. Our driver took us to a decent Khmer restaurant as we were craving for a decent meal which translated into rice. Yes, we Asian can't live without our rice. Not sure if our driver is affiliated with the restaurant or not, but it was a good place with decent food for a fair price.

The only downside were they refused to turn on the air conditioner for us, we were seated on the second floor with windows opened. It was a really hot day :( and their wifi did not work.

The restaurant is called Khmer Surin. The claim about relaxing surrounding in the menu is true except that I wish they had turned on the AC to make it more relaxing for us, considering that we were the only patrons besides some businessmen/businesswomen having meeting in their private room there.

I had the fried rice with shrimp paste and 3 layered pork, mango and omelette as sides. It set me back for $5.5 and fresh coconut for $2.5. Others opted for pineapple fried rice and we had chicken amuk too.

While waiting for our food

Coconut, you are a life saver during the hot days. I think I had at least one everyday when we were in Phnom Penh.

Khmer Surin Restaurant
House #9, Street 57,
Phnom Penh

Till my next Cambodia post

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