Cambodia has always had a king. Many of these tried to improve the life of their people. Like many rulers in Asia, the king had a huge area for himself and his family. The Imperial Palace was first on our list. Dragon tails decorated the roof and the front boards show the influence of Europe. 7 headed Cobras guarding the stairs show influence from India and Hinduism.The gardens were magnificent. Guards were very attentive to their iPhones
Cambodia has suffered through the Pol Pot period. Any people who were educated were placed into prison,put to work or simply killed. Those not imprisoned were at risk of starvation as inexperienced people tried to grow food . Many paddy fields had been mined so it was risky to plant. Children were removed from parents and trained as soldiers. Towards the end of the civil war, even going to a different area could have you labelled as a spy. For us the story of such cruelty of one human to another was unbelievably sad.
There is a famous bar and hotel in Pnomh Penh called the FCC club. We ventured there at night before our curfew at 11.00 ( they lock the gates down to the cruise boats). Fabulous old photos line the walls….according to the men, the local stout was ok too. Rosie, the tour guide, was waiting like a mum at the door when we got back.
We went during the day as well. On board, we were entertained by a local children from a traditional dance group. Children start when they are 4 because the joints in their fingers need to be stretched so they can bend their fingers back. The result is extremely graceful in the dance.