Cambodia/Vietnam 2008 - Chapter 1. Arrival in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh Travel Blog

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Cambodia Flag
I arrived in Phnom Penh airport in the morning and was greeted by the taxi driver arranged by my guesthouse. I stayed in Fancy Guesthouse, which was highly rated in tripadvisor. It was slightly expensive compared to the competition, but the rooms were really spotless clean and I felt absolutely safe staying there. The owner of the guesthouse was welcoming and friendly. The only complaint I have is the location of the guesthouse, as it was hidden in the smaller streets away from the main road. I got lost several times trying to find my way back to the guesthouse.

I started the day by visiting the National Museum. I would say, I was slightly disappointed as I expected to see something more organised and grand in the museum.
Khmer food - Fish with mango sauce
The place just turned out to be small, run-down, poorly lit and quite uninformative. They are in the process of doing some renovations and I hope things will improve in the future.

Lunch was great in a recommended Khmer restaurant - Fish in mango sauce, with rice. Eating in Phnom Penh can be slightly costly in some places, considering that we are paying tourist prices. My lunch itself cost US$4.

My next destination was the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. I arrived early as it closes for lunch and only reopens at 2pm. The 45 minutes wait outside the ticket office was a constant annoyance as I had multiple persistent moto drivers offering to bring me to other places. I kindly rejected all of them but they just kept coming and coming, with all sorts of reasons. Some even lied that the Palace is closed till 3pm and offered to bring be around for the next couple of hours, for a good price of course.
National Museum
I guess thats the problem of being a "single vulnerable" traveller. The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda tour was quite enjoyable and was a good place for photographs. I was definitely amazed by all the gold and jewels decorated artifacts. Its quite a contrary though, why would all the glamor matter when the people are suffering. Couldn't all that gold and diamonds be put into more practical use that would benefit the people?

I am a little fan of shopping, Phnom Penh is the garment factory for many common brand names like Gap, Levis, Abercrombie etc. The locals somehow manage to 'bring' some into their market for sale at 10% of the retail prices. The Russian market in Phnom Penh was the place to be then. I spent the rest of the afternoon at this little treasure trove.

The sky turns dark very early in Phnom Penh. By 7pm, its pitch black and I prefer to just hide in my little cosy room watching tv and resting my legs from all the walking. I never like walking alone on the streets at night especially in a new unknown territory.....

I have a long bus ride the next day....I am going dolphin watching at Kratie.....


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Cambodia Flag
Cambodia Flag
Khmer food - Fish with mango sauce
Khmer food - Fish with mango sauce
National Museum
National Museum
Royal Palace
Royal Palace
Royal Palace
Royal Palace
Royal Palace
Royal Palace
Phnom Penh
photo by: terminalfunk