Later in the morning we arrive in Koh Chen, where the locals are specialised in making copper and silver ornamental items.

local hairdresser

We walk through the quiet village to visit a local school. A school in open air of course. Math professor Um Son Thon survived the Khmer Rouge regime, and even at his respectable age he continues to give math and French classes.

We come armed with notebooks and other school supplies as the cruise director suggested. The kids immediately make place for us to sit with them on the school banks, while Um Son Thon tells us a bit about his life and how he survived the genocide. I’m surprised how calm and respectful the kids are.

Back on board, RV INDOCHINE sets sail to Phnom Penh, the vibrant capital of this friendly country. Tuk-tuks are awaiting for a short drive through the city. It is a busy city, yes, but what a great mixture of modern buildings and authentic Asian life. 

Arriving in Phnom Penh

Our first visit of Phnom Penh is by tuk-tuk

Other tourists prefer the riksha

Hairdressing al fresco style

Afterwards we enjoy some free time to have a walk through town.

Colourful markets everywhere

Zen on the esplanade

In the evening there is a show by some Apsara dancers and musicians from the orphanage which CroisiEurope supports. Honestly, we enjoy this show a lot more than the one we saw in Siem Reap. The children are obviously having fun performing. When asked after the final dance about their dreams for the future, they all said they wanted to become a model. Girls will be girls… everywhere.

Text: Véronique

Photos: Mike & Véronique