Phnom Penh is the reawakened capital of Cambodia and former Land of the Khmer, now a wonderful place with all the charm of a bygone age.
The Wat Ounalom Monastery is the centre of Cambodian Buddhism and home of the patriarch and around 200 monks. The monastery once contained more than 40 buildings that were either damaged or totally destroyed by the Khmer Rouge.
During the second half of the 19th century, Phnom Penh became a French colonial town with wide streets, shops, government buildings, hotels and villas all in colonial style.
The Mekong has its origin in China on the edge of the Tibetan High Plateau and for almost 5,000 kilometres it crosses China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. During the rainy season, the river is at its highest and not only floods the land but also creates a miracle of nature. The Tonle Sap changes its direction and the surplus water of the Mekong flows into the Tonle Sap Lake that has ample room for the extra water. After the monsoon period, the water drains out of the lake back into the Mekong when everyone celebrates the Festival of the Turning Water.
Today, one of the most beautiful and interesting cities in Asia is gradually recovering from the tragic events of the past. It is as though Phnom Penh is now keen to enjoy everything that was forbidden during the Vietnam War and the savage rule of the Khmer Rouge.