I was lucky enough to do my work outside the country from time to time. On the outside, I would affectionately complain about how hard it is to make travel arrangements, prepare my presentations, and leave the comfort and embrace of my family. But afterwards, I always look back with fondness at the places I’ve been to. I know that despite the stress and anxiety it entails, travelling with always be that drug that spikes my blood. It always enriches my soul, and I know part of what I am is a product of all the experiences and places I’ve been to.
This was my first trip to Cambodia. Frankly, I was not expecting that much because I thought it would be just like the Philippines, or Thailand. In a way it is, but I was pleasantly surprised that it offered a lot to the discerning traveller. Too bad I only had a few days to savor its sights and sounds, and I was confined to the capital city of Phnom Penh. Most days I was inside our embassy, but I was glad we got about half a day to score some obscure designer items at the Russian market, and savor the city’s heritage sites.
The Royal Palace is a huge compound that showcases the great architecture and rich history of the Cambodian people. Apart from being the official residence of the Cambodian King, several other buildings are located within the complex, such as the Throne Hall where the king receives guests and where ceremonies are held, the Silver Pagoda which houses national treasures, including gifts received by the king, various statues of royal personalities, gardens, and a lot more. The tour is very enriching thanks to our guide, a Cambodian young lady who works for the Philippine embassy.
The night also provided us a glimpse of the Independence Monument, situated at one of the rotundas in the city. It symbolizes the Khmer’s freedom.
Too bad the Angkor Wat complex is five hours away in Siem Reap. I would have loved to see that.