As much fun as I was having with my new friends (one of whom is now my long-time boyfriend), I spent the next morning - a free morning - touring on my own.
[click on any photo for a larger view]
My first stop was The Royal Palace.
The white, delicate facade of this building stood out amongst all the gold.
It was closed to visitors. Perhaps they shouldn't have left a door cracked open. Some people might steal a peek inside.
The glass and architecture were gorgeous, despite the other interior conditions. I like the reflection cast on the leafy floor of the photo to the left. The rails and all the round stairs and arches of the right photo are so pretty.
I walked next door to the The Silver Pagoda's grounds. No photos were permitted inside the temple, known as The Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
The gardens were stunning.
The details on the stupas was fantastic too.
On the way out of the grounds, I visited the elephant museum.
It's home to the white elephant statute.
I also took a look at the chairs placed on top of elephants. I think the people that used them were quite small.
My final stop that morning (so I thought) was to Wat Phnom. I had heard that there were monkeys there. I was rewarded with lots. I admit, seeing baby and adult monkeys with such unique expressions turned me into a crazy monkey stalker with a camera.
I also observed the temple.
From there, I walked back to my hotel. We stayed at Hotel Castle.
I'm glad I just checked to see if the website works. The hotel is now called Ohana. http://www.ohanahotelpp.com/en/index.php We were there for one night and I thought it was just fine. There were restaurants within walking distance and free internet. I walked to The Royal Palace from there too.
On my way to the hotel, I passed places open for business. A foreshadow for the business going on near my hotel.
When I stood on the fringe of the crowd, I literally thought to myself "Get ready. I'm going in."
I lasted about 5 minutes in this volume of people. I snapped a few photos before making my escape.
Have you broken any rules to steal a photo? Braved crowds? Share your story in the comments section!