Phnom Penh

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Alessandra & monk Wana @ Wat Ounalom

Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, is fairly young, only rising to the role in 1866 but is still a city steeped in tradition & history. The city was a French colony from 1863 to 1953. You can notice the old French buildings amongst the traditional south Asian houses. The people are in my experience extremely nice & friendly. My first encounter with the locals was in the temple Wat Ounalom. Wana & Chamtuli, 2 Buddhist monks lived there among 400 other monks & over 1000 Buddhist students. They offered us delicious Cambodian coffee and we talked about life in Cambodja, the horrible genocide, the role of religion, traditions,… Later on we wanted to visit the Royal Palace but it was closed due to some kind of manifestation. We found ourself on the main square among hundreds of Buddhist students. We wandered along the riverfront & enjoyed the views on the Mekong river.

Kim Na Juy & his daughter Kim Yu Jin @ the nightmarket

Kim Na Juy & his daughter Kim Yu Jin @ the nightmarket

In the evening we walked around the night market where you can find a variety of clothes, souvenirs but also very tasty local food. The food is so colorful, fresh & perfectly presented that it’s practically impossible not to taste a bit. Despite the variety of exquisit foods like little birds, grilled frogs, etc. we simpy tasted some local juices and while sitting in the cosy & crowded central area, we met Kim Na Juy & his little daughter Kim Yu Jin. Kim Na Juy was from Seoul, South Korea but married a Cambodian woman and lived here now as a farmer, producing a kind of local sweet potatoes. He loves the city of Phnom Penh & found his place among the very friendly locals…

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