Today, we explored many parts of Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. We started off the day by driving to a small dock, where there was a boat waiting for us. On the way to the boat, we learned some facts about Cambodia, for example, only 15% of twelfth grade students passed their finals in high school. When we got to the dock, we walked down some stone steps onto a wooden rickety bridge to the boat. Our boat was a small wooden boat with a small couch and some chairs. We had an hour long boat ride to an island where we would go to a Buddhist Temple. The boat was agonizingly slow, and it was super, super hot outside. (It was 39 degrees Celsius, which is 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit)
When we got to our destination, we walked off our gangplank onto a muddy, dirty patch of dirt and climbed some steps. When we got to the top of the steps, we could see the temple. The temple was called Lobster Pagoda. When we all got to the entrance of the temple, there were two huge golden lobsters outside the wall. When we walked in, we saw this huge, like 80 foot, statue of Buddha, laying on it’s side. We walked into a large temple where there were all of these paintings of Buddha on the ceiling and walls. After that, Mom and Dad dressed up like the King and Queen of Cambodia, because it was their anniversary. When they finished getting dressed, we all walked into a small room, where there was a monk waiting for us. We all got on our knees and sat before a table where the monk was. He started chanting and throwing flowers that looked like popcorn at us, then when he was done, he threw orange colored rose petals at us. Then, we put a bag of stuff in a bowl on the table and the monk started flicking water at us. Then, Brooke and I stepped out of the room while flower-girl, Ryan gave Mom and Dad roses. Next, Brooke and I gave mom and dad a cake and a present. We all ate the cake, and it was really good.
After that, we went and visited a small village where they made silk. We got to see them using a loom and making a dress, which was super cool. Then, we got to see the silkworms that produced the silk, we learned about the process of obtaining the silk from the worms, and how to make it super soft.
After that, we took the boat ride back to the dock. It was so hot, I almost passed out. When we got back, we drove directly to the Royal Palace. In the Royal Palace, there were many temples inside a walled off area. When we got there, it was pouring rain, so we had to get a couple of rain ponchos. The first temple we looked at was the King’s throne room. Nobody was allowed inside, but you could look inside. We could see the throne and the red carpet, and beautiful chandeliers that hung from the ceiling. When we were walking to the second temple, there was lightning and then thunder that sounded super loud, like a bomb. We sprinted to the second temple, called the Silver Pagoda, that had a sterling silver floor and a 100% emerald statue of Buddha that was really cool. There were many of gold, silver, emerald and platinum Buddha statues all around the room. We were told that there is no security because the statues are religious so they think that nobody would take them. The next one we visited was a mini representation of Angkor Wat, and it was also a spot where the King’s bones would go inside.
After that, we went home and all got dressed for Mom and Dad’s anniversary dinner. Brooke, Ryan and I ate inside the restaurant, while Mom and Dad had a romantic anniversary dinner outside surrounded by candles. Before Mom and Dad finished dinner, Brooke and I saw a cake and all of these awesome decorations on their bed. They were so surprised when they returned back to the room. We had an awesome day on Mom and Dad’s anniversary.