Phsar Toul Tum Poung is another remarkable traditional market in Phnom Penh, which all the vendor booths are roofed at ground level. Most tourist guides would introduce his clients to visit this market. The market started to be popular for foreign visitors since the 1980s, and mostly were Russians, thus it have got the English name called Russian Market. It’s located at the corner of St. 440 and St. 163, south of Mao Tse Tung Blvd.
In August 1863, King Norodom signed a Protectorate agreement with France in the purpose of seeking assistance fending off Thailand and Vietnam. And the capital city of Cambodia was moved from Oudong to Phnom Penh in 1866. It’s the year that Phnom Penh started to be appeared like the present days. During the protectorate period, Phnom Penh was built with many large buildings under style deco of French architectures. Especially, the city center of around Wat Phnom area. Most of them are important buildings for government usage. There are several buildings still exist and in using until now, even though they were under renovated.
Phnom Penh Railroad Station
Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia. It’s the country’s commercial, political, economic, culture and tourist area. Lading from north to south along the confluence of the Tonle Sap and Mekong river, Phnom Penh has the population of about 2.5 million people living in an area of about 290 square kilometers. Phnom Penh has a mixed population of Khmer, Chinese, and Vietnamese.
Phnom Penh City Hall, a French architechture
Phnom Penh was formerly built by King Ponhea Yat (1405-1466) in 1434. The second time built by King Norodom in December 1865. Since then Phnom Penh became Cambodia’s capital city officially until now. Phnom Penh is Cambodia’s center of economic and industrial activities, politics, economics, cultural, and diplomacy of the country.
During the 1920s, Phnom Penh was considered one of the most beautiful French-built cities in Indochina. While Siem Reap is the city of Khmer ancient temples, Sihanouk Ville is the beautiful city of natural white sand and sea, Phnom Penh is aslo a significant global and domestic tourist destinations for Cambodia by its beautiful and historical architecture. Along the grand boulevards in Phnom Penh center, there are many French colonial buildings and French villas are visible and some of them are in used, especially the government administration buildings. Some of them are: Then National Treasury Building, Phnom Penh Post Office, Phnom Penh Railway Station.
Phnom Penh has its name after a artificial hill Phnom Daun Penh. A legend related to the founding of Phnom Penh goes that, there is an old lady named Penh (Daun is Khmer for “old lady”, that’s why “Daun Penh”) living at the Chaktomuk (currently Phnom Penh). One day, while she was walking by the Mekong river, she saw a log of Koki tree (Koki is a kind of tree which its timber is very good to survive in water.) floating near the bank. After the koki tree log was pulled up to the shore by local people, Lady Penh found four statues of Buddha made of bronze and one statue of Vishnu made of marble inside the tree. Lady Penh and the locals believed that this was the intention of God to send those statues here. The record wrote that in 1372, Lady Penh built a hill on the west bank of Tonle Sap river and placed a shrine on top to house the found sacred artifacts. And the hill was named Phnom Daun Penh (Hill of Lady Penh).Later on when the town was growing around this area and take its name in short form as Phnom Penh.
Phnom Penh is a municipality with 678.46 square kilometres area which is divided into 8 administrative divisions called Khan (district), they are: 7 Makara, Chamkar Mon, Dangkor, Daun Penh, Mean Chey, Russey Keo, Sen Sok, and Tuol Kok. And the Khans are further subdivided into Sangkats (communes), and further into smaller group called Krom.
Some cultural and touring sites within Phnom Penh which visitors shouldn’t miss are: Royal Place and Silver Pagoda, Wat Phnom or Phnom Daun Penh, National Museum, Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, Killing Field, Central Market and Russian Market.
At the south end of Norodom boulevard, standing the only hill of Phnom Phnom, Wat Phnom. The summit of the large stupa on the hill makes Wat Phnom can be seen clearly from far away.
Wat Phnom is the only hill in the city, and the large clock there is also the only clock in the city. The clock was renovated many times, the current one was built since year 2000. The stupa and the clock are the landmark of Wat Phnom. Visitors who arrived here are having their photograph at this point. Whenever we see the picture, we would know immediately that it was taken at Wat Phnom, Cambodia.
Independence Monument was built to celebrate Cambodia’s fully independence from French colony on 9th November 1953 under royal leadership of His Majesty King-Father Norodom Sihanouk. The National Independence Day on 9th November 1962 was the day that the Independence Monument inaugurated. Continue reading
Pka Raing Phnom
Most visitors to the Royal Palace would find this flower tree strange, and some of them question that: it’s real flower?
Yes it’s really flower, though it looks like not real. We call it Pka Raing Phnom in Khmer (Pka mean flower for Khmer). This is treated as a sacred tree, since our Buddha God was born under this tree. It’s a kind of huge tree, but its flower only blossom from the tree trunk, especially near the tree base. In the Royal Palace, the area for visitors, we can find four of this tree. One is near the entrance before arrive the Throne Hall, another one far behind the Hor Samrith Phimean, and two more near the exit door from the Silver Pagoda.
As I saw this tree from far away, I was so wonder of what kind of tree is it? The red color are flowers? Does Cambodia has the tree with red color leaves same to the trees in Europe countries?
When I was near the tree, I knew it is Raing Phnom tree. But then why this tree become like this? While the other one still having green leaves. Looked around, I saw Mr. Security guard and I got the answer. Raing Phnom tree would have 2-3 times a year that its leave turn into red-yellow and started to falling down until the tree has no leaf left. Then it starts to grow out new green leaf buds again. But it doesn’t have seasonal of leaf falling, it’s not sure in what month of the year. Each tree has different times of leaf falling.
Tro Leung Teung Tree
Visiting the Royal Palace, before arrived the ticket booth, visitors may be surprised with some remarkable plantations. This one in Khmer we call Tro Leung Teung tree. It’s a very tall tree, but it flowers and fruits are at low at near its stump. The flower looks very attractive with red color and the fruit look funny with green elliptical shape. Tro Leung Teung fruit is used in cooking for Khmer kitchen. It’s used as ingredient for sour taste of soup instead of tamarind.
100 Hands Banana
This is we call 100-hands-banana in Cambodia. But on the net I saw people call it 1000 fingers banana. To normal banana, we would have at most about 12-14 hands only. But this kind of banana has more than 100 hands. People don’t eat this kind of banana, just grow it for nice looking. The tree is as high as normal banana tree, about 2 meters. And the stem of the fruit can be nearly as the tree’s height, nearly touch the ground.
This picture is Sen River which was taken from the building of Trai Lok Trai Leak pagoda. Sen River is the largest river (steng) in Cambodia (about 300km long). It originates from Dorng Rek mountain range in Preah Vihear Province, and lies within Preah Vihear and Kampong Thom, finally it flows into Tonle Sap Lake.
Steng Sen is an important river for people living along it. It contains big amount of water from Tonle Sap Lake in rainy season and still can supplies until the dry season. Moreover, Steng Sen is home of many kinds of freshwater fish and migratory birds in Cambodia.