This is the garden of the National Museum in Phnom Penh. It is the best place to hide from the heat and dust on a winter day in Phnom Penh. Yes, heat and dust in the winter. By 10 AM on any normal winter day, the sun would be up so high and cranking up the heat full blast. It must be like 35 degree Centigrade out, easily, scorching hot, while the daytime temperature on a winter day should max out at 28.
But stepping into the garden is like walking into a sphere of refreshing coolness, a magical sphere with its own micro climate pattern. The heat and the dust and the noises of the city vanish into the thin air. In the garden there is soothing breeze and fresh air, with lush colors and melodic tunes filling every corner of this wonderful space.
Lining the parameter of the courtyard garden are palm trees and colorful bougainvillea. The palm trees sway gently in the breeze and the bougainvillea add a touch of floral scent in the air. The garden ground was divided into four quadrants. Occupying each quadrant is a pond, almost covered with the lush green of the lilies leaves. Of course there are bursts of pink and red water lilies, mirroring the red exterior of the museum building itself. The noisy traffic is drown by the soothing and hypnotic splashing of the water fountains in the ponds, and maybe the occasional enthusiastic buzz of the dragonflies circling the lilies. At the center of the garden, sits the statue of the Leper King, from Angkor, in a little gazebo, presiding over this magical not-so-little secret garden, enjoying the calmness and coolness in the air.
I sat idly in the garden for a long time, breathing in and out long and deep, cleansing exhausted soul and revitalizing my tired body, taking in a slice of serenity and purging out the stress and tardiness from traveling.
This is more than a perfect spot to get away from the city madness. This is a therapeutic oasis for the people on the rush, on the road.