Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Phnom Penh and Wat Phnom

Raffles Le Royal
Woke the next morning after the 17 hour flight and we were at Raffles in Phnom Penh. How cool is that? No jet lag. Fantastic way to start the trip. We hadn’t been to Raffles for a while and it was great to be back. Couldn’t wait to get to the Elephant Bar and the Le Royal Restaurant later for dinner.

But first we had to get Cambodian Sim Cards for our iPhones. Once we got them they worked perfectly and we were in touch with people we had to get together with. That’s the great thing about Verizon iPhones in the United States. The phones aren’t locked to Verizon. Just buy Sim cards no matter where you are and you’re on either data or voice. Perfect.

Wat Phnom
The history of Phnom Penh is very interesting, it’s the capital and largest city of Cambodia. Located on the banks of the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers, Phnom Penh has been the national capital since the French colonized Cambodia around 1863.

Phnom Penh (literally, "Penh's Hill") takes its name from the nearby Wat Phnom ("Hill Temple"). Legend has it that in 1372, an old nun named Lady Penh went to fetch water in the Tonle Sap and found a dead Koki tree floating down the stream. Inside a hole of the tree were four bronze and one stone Buddha statues.

Inside Wat Phnom
Daun (Grandma) Penh brought the statues ashore and ordered people to pile up earth northeast of her house. She then used the Koki trunks to build a temple on the hill to house the five Buddha statues, and named the temple after herself as Wat Phnom Daun Penh, which is now known as Wat Phnom, a small hill of 27 meters (89 ft) in height.

The Elephant Bar
After seeing the Wat Phnom and sitting at the pool for a while, the Elephant Bar called. We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in the elegant surroundings. Happy hour starts at 4.00pm so I had a nice wine but Tami had the classic  Femme Fatale, a special cocktail that was created for Jackie ‘O in 1964 while she visited Angkor Wat and the King.

Femme Fatale
We had a 7:00pm reservation at the Restaurant Le Royal for a special Ecuyer Tranchant dinner. Ecuyer Tranchant is an officer in charge of meats, serving at the king’s table under the classic French Ancien Regime.

Ecuyer Tranchant at Restaurant Le Royal
It was wonderful to be in Phnom Penh’s most elegant dining room and enjoy an exceptional dining service. It was a five course beef dinner, and each dish was prepared according to tradition at the table side. It ended with Flambé desserts.

There was also beautiful music by the resident classical pianist Mr. Van who serenaded us the entire evening. It was a wonderful first day back in Cambodia.

Highly recommended!
If you’d like to check out more pages of the blog . . . Click here

No comments:

Post a Comment