TRAIN STATION AND BUDDHA HAIR
When I decided to check out
’s train station, it was a gloomy day with low lying clouds hovering the skies. I checked the map and saw a small temple, Wat Oanolum standing in front of the train station. This small temple was allegedly built to accommodate a "strand of hair” of Buddha. Upon reaching the wat (temple), I found a neglected stupa of greenish hue with gates firmly shut, surrounding the small structure. There was nowhere else to go but the nice-looking train station nearby. Although this train depot is temporarily non-operational, occasional non-commuter freight trains have schedules to deliver goods to select provinces. Adventurous backpackers are occasionally allowed to ride if they don’t mind staying above the carriages – under the sun, with wind on their faces. Phnom Penh
WANDERING AROUND A DESERTED TRAIN YARD
The front doors of the station have been likewise shut, but I trudged towards the right side of the building where there’s a gate leading inside a train yard. I talked to the guard and requested to be allowed in. He shook his head but after a smiling plead, which he probably did not really understand, let me through. I walked the deserted grounds towards the tracks. Several carriages were parked. It felt eerie to be there, like roaming a ghost town. I would have gone further afield towards the western area - where I see some shanties - leading to
, but I saw a couple of stray dogs heading my way. After a scary encounter with such beasts in Savannakhet Laos, I decided it was wise to stay put. Not a minute later, a heavy feastful torrential rain fell over the arid lands – and it didn’t seem to be slowing down. I crouched down and considered my options. Then I made a dash towards the exit gate, knowing I’d be drenched in the rains, then headed to the shelter at the front of the train station along with other locals.
Boeng Kak Lake
I waited at a concrete slab with other Khmers, when a 10 year old boy sat beside me. He kept looking at my watch which he later tapped with his finger. He said a few things in Khmer. I said “hello” and when he realized I wasn’t Khmer, he suddenly backed away. Haha.
SHOPPING IN PHNOM PENH
In the northern district of the capital, I passed a huge department store simply called DS which turned out to be
’s version of Rustan’s where European garments and products are sold at ridiculous prices, even for Philippine or American standards. From an off-the-beaten track visit in the peninsular Phnom Penh and on my way back to my guesthouse, I told my motorcycle driver I wanted to check out DS Department Store. I went in and saw a single fastfood restaurant at the left side of the store. I took to the escalator that scaled 5 storeys. At the top floor was a ladies’ boutique that had guest lounges. I randomly picked an item to check out the price. This was a nice looking ladies blouse. The tag price - $900! Jeez! My floor almost caved in from surprise! That was ridiculous! More and more metropolitan malls are being constructed as we speak. The latest one that opened is the island of Chrouy Changwar , another 5-storey shopping complex with marble tiles and huge window panes – and an area that spans 50,000 square meters. For some reason, just like the Sovanna Supercenter Siam group of malls in , photography is not allowed inside. Bangkok
For other needs, you can always try the tourist favorite Central Market and the Russian Market for both designer (originals) and knock-off products. However, my driver Tei hinted that most items at these markets are overpriced.
A food stall at the Food Court, 4th floor, Sorya Shopping Center. Like Bangkok and Chiangmai, you have to purchase a food coupon then buy your food in exchange of these coupons. I'm not too fond of that system, to be honest.
This is the Eye in the Sky!
something about the rain that's calming...
hi eye, say Sues'day! in case you see the little boy again...that's hello in khmer =) what an interesting attraction that they house a single strand of buddha in that temple, jeez! and if i was there, i would go malling all day haha!! =)
@ lucy: me too, i find the rains kinda "cleansing" and calming. kaso, it's a backpacker's enemy, for obvious reasons. lol
@ jepay: jeez, i thought you were kidding. i had to check out my PP map - which had these common khmer phrases - you're right. another alternative is "choom reap sour". these khmer dialect are so fond of bunching up consonants together, which makes pronouncing their words a little bit tricky, ex: chrouy, khmer, srey, etc. :-> thanks for that. lol
yes, it seemed an interesting attraction - and a tad too trivial - probly the reason why they locked it up from tourists. imagine if someone steals this single strand of hair, what becomes of the temple? a hairless temple, if you may. ;->
i guess they aren't too trivial to the devotees of buddha, which i respect. i mean, if jesus left a strand of hair somewhere, i'm sure we catholics would have put up a church to house such strand, the way some catholic churches in europe keep blood vials of saints.
ang cute how the tuktuks were parked :)
from your angle, parang matchboxes, miniature tricycles hehe
you've got to be kidding me! $900 for a blouse? you should have photographed that item for us, girls, to see how $900 looks like - in Cambodia. maybe they were studded with gold dusts? ;->
Wow... you travel outside the beaten paths... I like this kind of travel...
Great ! Interesting stuff.
@twin: yes, that's how it looks exactly. :->
@ cathy: yeah, it felt like being in the twilight zone seeing the tag price. unfortunately, photography is also not allowed inside.
i try to visit those not much visited places, coz i find them more interesting. kind of discovering places on your own. but then, you do the same with your travels - you're even "braver" with regards to some of the places that you do visit.
tuktuks pala tawag dun...talagang tricycle,kasi tatlo gulong.nakasakay kana ba dun.
teka...apat pala gulong ng tuktuks...he he he.:)
nakita ko lang ito sa pelikulang ong bak!
@ ever - oo, madaming beses na akong nakasakay ng tuktuk. apat nga ang gulong - the motorbike itself plus yung hila hilang "kotse" sa likod ng bike.
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