Phnom Penh

As our visas were due to expire on the 2nd of January, we needed to leave Vietnam. The decision was made to catch a bus from Saigon to Phnom Penh in Cambodia as there were things we wanted to see and visit in Cambodia but Phnom Penh would be our first stop.

There is are a couple of Cambodian based bus companies that run daily buses between Saigon and Phnom Penh, we chose Giant Ibis for this purpose, they also take care of everything at the border. We had previously applied for our visa’s online and received emailed copies which we had printed off before leaving Da Nang.

We boarded the bus at 8:30am. travelled to the border where we crossed without a problem continuing on to Phnom Penh.

Cambodian Border

The outskirts of Phnom Penh.

The bus ride was about six and a half hours long, arriving just after 3pm, we all checked into our hotel and went exploring the area where we were staying which was close to the Mekong River, this river flows all the way from China into Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam before flowing into the South China Sea.

Yep, we are in Cambodia!

After strolling for a while, it was time to sample a local beer, we found Angkor and Cambodia beers at a bar close to the river.

As it was only 6:30ish in the evening with the sun setting, we decided to take a riverboat trip.

From here we wandered till we found somewhere to have dinner.

The following day we hired a Tuk-Tuk driver to take us to Silk Island but first we had to cross the river to another estuary. This is where silk thread is produced and turned into items made from the thread.

Crossing the Mekong River.

Catching the Ferry to Silk Island.

Mulberry Silkworm Larva
Mulberry Silkworms
Mulberry Silkworm Cocoons
Mulberry Silkworm Cocoons being Boiled to produce the Fibers (Fibroin).
Spinning the Fibers into Thread
Thread after Dyeing

Thread being Woven into intricate Patterns

Silk is a natural Protein Fiber, some forms of which can be woven into Textiles. The protein fiber of silk is composed mainly of Fibroin and is produced by certain insect Larva form the Cocoons. The best-known silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the Mulberry Silkworm “Bombyx Mori” reared in captivity “Sericulture”. The shimmering appearance of silk is due to the triangular prism-like structure of the silk fibre, which allows silk cloth to refract incoming light at different angles, thus producing different colours.

Silk is produced by several insects; but, generally, only the silk of moth caterpillars has been used for textile manufacturing. There has been some research into other types of silk, which differ at the molecular level. Silk is mainly produced by the larvae of insects undergoing complete metamorphosis, but some insects, such as webspinners and raspy crickets, produce silk throughout their lives. Silk production also occurs in Hymenoptera (bees, wasps and ants), silverfish, caddisflies, mayflies, thrips, leafhoppers, beetles, lacewings, fleas, flies and midges. Other types of arthropods produce silk, most notably various arachnids, such as spiders. (Wikipedia).

The Islanders have their own small but interesting temple.

On this island the locals are pretty much self-sufficient, they farm their own vegetables and fruit.

As we travelled back to Phnom Penh the Tuk-Tuk driver also stopped at a Golden Temple, this was gold on the outside, the inside was also intricately decorated.

Many of the out building were also covered in Gold

Dinner this night was comfort food, Pizza and Wings.

Next: The Killing Fields

2 thoughts on “Phnom Penh”

  1. Great picture’s, looks like a very interesting area. The beer and pizza lock mouth watering.
    We are enjoying the South Island a whole bunch. When do you head back home?

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