Posted by: travelrat | March 4, 2020

Royal Palace, Phnom Penh

Royal Palace 1

Phnom Penh/Ho Chi Minh City: 13th November 2019

Today was a much better day. First, we were taken to the National Museum. I know museums aren’t everyone’s thing, but you’ll often learn more about the country’s history, culture and wildlife than you’ll glean from the Tourist Information Centre.

The Royal Palace was an ornate delight. It was raining when we got there, but we thought: not to worry; at least, we shall be inside. Wrong! The Palace isn’t just one building, as we understand it in Europe. It’s a complex, somewhat reminiscent of the Forbidden City in Beijing ,,, but not as grand. Quite!

This is somewhere you could walk for a long time, just admiring the architecture. Alas, we didn’t have a long time. We had a flight to catch.

That flight took us into Vietnam, and we noticed the contrast to adjoining Cambodia straight away. No tuk-tuks, for one thing, although it seems that every citizen has a scooter. You still take your life in your hands every time you cross the road. I noted, too, that all the signs are in Roman script … which would make them easier to read, if you understood Vietnamese!

Almost the first thing our new guide told us … Saigon is still Saigon, and refers to the ‘old city’, or the downtown area. Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC for short) is the conurbation that developed around it after the Vietnam War.

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