The bus didn’t drive nearly as fast as those in Thailand, but it didn’t take too long to get to Phnom Penh from Siem Reap, leaving me the afternoon to explore.
I immediately made my way to the nearby National Museum of Cambodia which, similarly to the Angkor Museum, covered the broad range of Cambodia’s religious and royal history, but with many more sculptures and displays.
Then I walked around the courtyard and park in front of the Royal Palace to look for an entrance but was shooed away, so I explored around the nearby area and saw a long procession ceremony for what I believe was the Kings birthday.
I felt a sense of enthusiasm and economic vitality from the large construction projects dotting the skyline, the crowds of people out and about, and even the craftsmanship of local artisans. Even some evening rain didn’t keep people from going out to eat with friends, but it did create opportunities for me to try to talk to some locals.
In Cambodia, its unusually difficult to walk along the sidewalk area nearest to shop buildings because the owners intentionally put up barriers using potted plants, barrels, statues, or whatever else they can to extend their boundaries. So be careful when walking around as you will be forced to walk closer to vehicles and traffic.