Ok, so it’s a holiday here and we were super excited to go out of town and see some beautiful parts of Cambodia. Well, that didn’t happen. There are floods in many provinces right now and we decided not to travel through them. But we did try to make the most of it here in Phnom Penh. Many things are closed due to Pchum Ben, an important holiday celebration, but we ventured out to a water park today that was open. Yep, a water park right here in Cambodia. Oh, I wish I had my camera there but didn’t because I was fearful it would get stolen. I’ll describe it (and the fun we had) for you, though.
The Phnom Penh Waterpark was just like water parks in the USA.... or not. I mean sure, there was water. There was a park. And there were a lot of people having fun. But it was quite different for sure!
There was a normal pool, a wave pool, a handful of slides, and a couple kids’ areas with fountains and such. Only thing was all of that was like 30 years old. The slides had worn out paint and rusty stairs. The concrete leading from one section to another had worn out and its little bumps were painful to walk on with bare feet. The park was in need of lots of TLC. But the laughing, smiling, happy children didn’t care about that!
Most noticeably - there were no rules. You want to run, go ahead. Want to make a train of 3 people to slide down the slide? Or 30? Why not? Want to sit at the bottom of the slide where everyone can crash into you on their way down? Ok, sure. Want to run back UP the slide with water rushing down? All right, as long as you think you can make it. Sit up, lay down, spin around, climb on someone’s shoulders, do whatever you want to get down the slide. Nope, no rules at all. Just people having fun. I’m amazed we didn’t see an injury!
Good thing, too, because there were also no lifeguards. There were a few security guards sitting around and I heard a whistle blow every once in a while, but I have no idea what they were blowing it at. No rules, remember?
And (this one is for my brother in law, who doesn’t like water parks, anyway) there was, I’m pretty sure, no chlorine either. I mean, maybe, but by the looks of the mold around the edges, it didn’t appear so. The water looked very much like rain water but at least was moving around the slides and such. I even saw a few creepy looking bugs swimming in the kid’s area. Oh well. Once I got over that and reminded myself that I knew coming to Cambodia would be an ADVENTURE, we had a great time. We played at every section of the park. Well, except one. The lazy river was a long narrow river but didn’t have any motion to it. I opted out of that one. Overall, though, I just told myself that we were there for fun and if the kids didn’t care, I didn’t care!
Another funny observation was that clothing was quite different. Was it optional? No way. Quite the opposite, actually. I mean, I did see a couple of naked toddlers, but that’s normal anywhere in Cambodia. I was in a “swim dress” thing that covers a lot of me but I felt quite underdressed! A few kids had swimsuits on but most people had on t-shirts and shorts. Long sleeved t-shirts, even. Most Cambodians don’t like to get sun exposure because they always want to whiten their skin, not tan it. Huh, that’s different than home for sure! Some even had on pajama looking clothes with long sleeves and long pants. I think I may adapt to parts of Cambodian culture, but I’m pretty sure I’ll always prefer swimming in a swim suit to pajamas.
Wow. I just read over everything I had just typed. Six months ago I’d have never been so brave. Or dumb.... I guess time will tell as the water that made it into my mouth works its way into my stomach!
As for right now, I conclude it was a great day. Kids had fun, husband had fun, I had fun. What could I complain about?
But don’t worry, if you come visit me, I’ll find someplace else to take you! :)