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[Virtual Travel] Cambodia + Vietnam Day 1: Phnom Penh

8:30am: Arrive at Phnom Penh Airport, Check-in to Point Boutique Hotel

After arriving at the airport, it is about a 30mins drive to the hotel.

10:30am: Breakfast at Lot 369 Cafe

After hotel check-in, Lot 369 Cafe is a 10mins drive from the hotel. It is an Australian-owned cafe, but managed by a Cambodian team. Lot 369 is famous for serving great coffee and plant-based brunch in Phnom Penh, located right next to the Russian Market (Toul Tom Poung) - it is nicknamed as such as it was mainly shopped by the Russian expat community in the 1980s.

11:30am: Wat Phnom (Buddhist Temple)

After breakfast, Wat Phnom is a 10mins drive from the cafe. Wat Phnom is a Buddhist temple built in 1372 on a hill, 27m above ground. It is the tallest religious temple structure in the city, the central point of Phnom Penh. The statues were found by an old wealthy lady named “Doun Penh”. One day while she was at the river, she saw a floating koki tree. She fished it out and scraped off the mud, and in the hole of the koki tree, there were four Buddha statues made of bronze and brass and one made of marble. Another statue was in the form of Vishnu. She assigned the villagers to build a hermitage on top of a small mountain and to place the four statues there as a place of worship. She invited monks to pray for the statues and the monks named the hermitage "Wat Phnom".

12:30pm: Phsar Thmei (Central Market)

Then, walk over to Phsar Thmei, a central market. After Phnom Penh was made as the capital city in 1867, its population grew gradually. A decision to build a market was made in the 1920s, but the project only started in 1934 due to the turmoil of the Great Depression. It was said to be the biggest market in Asia (at that time) when it opened in 1937. The bright yellow building has a 26m-high central dome, with 4 tall arch-roofed arms branching out diagonally across the block. It underwent a 2yrs renovation in 2009.

1:30pm: Lunch at Mok Mony

Then, a 10mins drive to Mok Mony for lunch. Mok Mony is a family-run garden themed restaurant that offers authentic Khmer and Asian dishes.

2:30pm: Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda

After lunch, head over to the Royal Palace, a 10mins drive away. The Royal Palace is a complex of buildings which serves as the royal residence of the King of Cambodia since the 1860s, parts of the palace are closed to the public. The complex is divided into 4 main compounds - Silver Pagoda, Khemarin Palace, Throne Hall and Inner Court.

The Silver Pagoda, is also known as the Temple of Emerald Buddha, as the primary Buddha statue was made of emerald. The other statue is a golden life-size Buddha Maitreya, known as the Buddha of the Future, made of 90kg pure gold and adorned with over 2,000 diamonds, with a 25-carat diamond in the crown, and a 20-carat diamond in the chest.

4:30pm: Chill at Backyard Cafe, Independence Monument

Then, walk over to Backyard Cafe for a break.

The Independence Monument is just a 5mins walk away. Built in 1958 to memorialize Cambodia’s independence from France in 1953. The center of activity during national celebrations.

6pm: Dinner at Malis Restaurant

Lastly, walk over to Malis Restaurant for dinner, serving authentic Cambodian cuisine.


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