A few days in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Street life in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

My tour of 2 weeks in Cambodia started with a few days in Phnom Penh. I have been now a few times in Phnom Penh and I love & hate it. I love the chaotic 24h/day street-life, I love the many beautiful buildings, I love the riverside boulevard in the early morning and begin of the evening. I hate the bloody Tuk-Tuk drivers at the riverside area, hundreds of them every 5sec asking "You want taxi" and if you ignore them they start shouting "You, You!". And then I am not even talking about the ridicules over-pricing of the Tuk-Tuk's. I love the good Asian Fusion food at the restaurants and the good wines for not too much money.

Visa on arrival is available at Phnom Penh airport for 20us$ (soon 30us$), best to be paid in us$. And you will need a pass-photo. At the airport are taxi's and Tuk-Tuk's. For about 7 to 10us$ you should be in the city centre. Place of temporarily residence was Lux Riverside Hotel at Street 136, just 50m from the riverside. A good modern hotel, although it is located right in an street full of bars. Although they serve an reasonable breakfast-buffet I opt for a late breakfast at Blue Pumpkin around the corner on the riverside with an Continental Siem Reap breakfast.

My favorite things to do in Phnom Penh are ......
  • Eating in good Asian Fusion restaurants like Metro, Bodega, Buchon, Blue Pumpkin.
  • Wake-up at sunrise and walk over the riverside boulevard and then continue without any plan in the maze of little streets to watch the 24h/day street-life.
  • Before dinner, just at dawn walk again over the riverside boulevard
  • Visit the grandeur of the "Central Market" (actually "New Market")
  • Visit the "Russian Market" and try to buy something weird for less as 10us$
  • Visit 'Wat Phnom" and walk around it to watch people (perfect in the weekend)
Of course you should also ...
  • Visit the Royal Palace
  • Visit the National Museum
  • Make a river cruise
  • Visit the Killing Fields (and be shocked for at least 2 days)
  • Visit Tual Sleng Genocide Museum
Some tips ....
  • Transport in the city is easy there are Tuk-Tuk's and Motorbike-taxi's everywhere
  • Do not give money to beggars, giver food & drinks and buy cloths for them
  • Do not wander of alone at night, it is not always as safe as it looks
  • Remember that it was only 25 to 35 years ago that 20% of the population was killed
  • Remember it took after that at least 10years to really start rebuilding the society
See you next time in Phnom Penh!

Family meeting at Wat Phnom