Be a man, play the game!

Trip Start Apr 26, 2010
Trip End Nov 16, 2010

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Where I stayed
Nomads Hostel

Flag of Cambodia  ,
Thursday, September 16, 2010

After yesterday's sight-seeing we wanted to see something a bit more pleasant, and so headed with Nikki to the palace to have a look around. Cambodia is one of the 3 functional monarchies left in the world, so only parts of the grounds were open to visitors, and that along with heavy rain showers meant that we felt we could see it all by 11am when it would close.

The buildings on the palace grounds are all ornately decorated in white and gold, in many places appearing more whimsical than functional, with multi-layered rooves and serpentine decorations pointing towards the sky. Our first stop appeared to be a very ornate throne room where we sheltered from the torrent of water falling from the sky, but with only the very edges of half the room accessible a short look sufficed before we trudged through several inches of water to the silver pagoda, holding a crystal Buddha as well as a 90kg gold Buddha encrusted with diamonds.

Thankfully the rain finally let up as we left and we spent a little while walking through the potted plants of the main courtyard, taking photos of some of the flowers. Overall the palace is a pretty place to visit, but slightly expensive at $6 for entry.

Back at the hotel Nikki and I left Adele, suffering from mystery stomach cramps and curled up on her bed, to go in search of lunch, which ended up a fish stew from another local diner, made with what we think was also pork. While it was supposedly a national dish of this country, and wasn’t too bad, we definitely don’t feel any need to taste it again!

After collecting Adam and Jen back at the hotel we walked around the corner to a different 'Seeing Hands’ massage parlour for what just might have been the best massage of the trip. The guy working on me kneaded and stretched me so much he must have thought I was bread dough, and I’m not sure what playing the bongo’s on my bum did for me, but the four of us left after an hour feeling thoroughly pulverised but great.

Adele still wasn’t up to eating so I took off with the others for a night-market dinner and a few drinks by the river, rounding out a pleasantly relaxing day. We had some table-side entertainment in the form of Alex, the 8 year old book salesman with remarkably good English and the catch-phrase "Be a man, play the game" which had us all laughing uproariously.
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