Sitting in the bus for 8hours was long- we unbored ourselves by focusing on the changing Vietnam-Cambodian landscape that we pass by. There would be differences on what is written on billboards in few hours, radio songs, and immigration procedures.
We arrived to Phnom Penh Cambodia around 8pm after an 8 hour bus trip from Ho Chi Minh Vietnam. We would stay here in the capital of the Cambodian Kingdom for 16 hours prior going to our most desired destination- Siem Riep!
Here are the seven activities you can do in Phnom Penh in 16 hours:
1.) Try the Tuktuk
At the bus terminals, there are a lot of tuktuks- motorcycles with 4-seat passenger carriage in its back. Some thought that tuktuks are only found in Thailand. No, you are mistaken. Tuktuks are also in Cambodia.
We rode the Tuktuk going to our hotel and exploring the city the next day.
2.) Do a Staycation in a 3 star hotel (at least!)
Hotels in Phnom Penh are spacious but less expensive. We booked a twin sharing rooms for only 15USD. We got a good view of the city and enjoyed the ambience of the hotel plus its soft bed. Next time, we should do a staycation for the whole day prior our next trip!
3.) Try the Cambodian Beer
We partnered our dinner meals with this well known Cambodian beer- Angkor!
4.) Visit the Kingdom of Cambodia Royal Palace
There are entrance fees if you want to check the interior of the palace. Most of the tourists say that the palace is very majestic and ornated with gold. Since we do not have the whole day for Phnom Penh, we decided to just have a picture of the Palace in our background.
4.) Visit the Genocide Museum
Make sure you have a picture of below to show to your tuktuk driver. Our tuktuk driver had difficulty on understanding where we wanted to go. We had 30 minutes roaming around the streets although this museum should only be around 15 minutes from the Royal Palace.
The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum was used as notorious prison cell by the Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979. Many human rights activists have been visiting this museum.
5.) Visit a Cambodian University
Since this was also a school field trip, we visited an academe in Phnom Penh- the Pannasastra University. We included in the meeting agenda tie-up opportunities with Asian Centre University of the Philippines and their University. We were welcomed by Dr. Trond Gilberg, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and International Relations and the Director of Peace and Conflict Studies, and Dr. Fil Tabayoyong, a Filipino professor who now teaches in Phnom Penh.
In our photo op background are the monarchs of the Kingdom of Cambodia- King Norodom Sihamoni (left picture), King Norodom Sihanouk (middle picture), and Queen Norodom Monineath (right picture)
6.) Watch the sunrise or sunset in Mekong River
If we weren’t so tired the night we arrived, we could have woken up early to watch the sunrise in the middle of the Mekong River via boat. The sunrise or sunset in the Mekong River is one of the pride of Phnom Penh people. We will just try it next time and perhaps on a much longer stay in the city!
Around 1pm, we bought our bus ticket to Siem Riep. We booked the ilibis bus transport company. This would be another 8 hour bus trip. Good luck to us! See you in Siem Riep! <3
Additional Helpful Information:
1.) Do your staycations at Kolab Sor Hotel-http://www.kolabsorhotel.com
2.) Book your Bus tickets Phnom Penh to Siem Riep- http://giantibis.com
3.) Contact Mr. John as your tour guide in the city- firstname.lastname@example.org
4.) Study at Pannasastra University of Cambodia- visit http://www.pc.edu.kh