Phnom Penh

Some cities come with expectations: New York, Paris, Tokyo, etc. These cities tend to also be money vacuums hoovering away your hard earned moola with $18 cocktails and $25 eggs benedict. WHO PAYS TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS FOR EGGS?! You, that’s who.

What does one expect when entering Phnom Penh?  Iono.

What will one find? Awesomeness.  This place has everything that people love about living in cities :

  • A great selection of dining. Everything from incredelicious street stalls to fine dining at fantastic prices (we treated ourselves to a yummy 5 course meal at one of the city’s best Khmer restaurants set in a garden for $30).
  • Vibrant streets and inspiring public spaces filled with plenty of interesting characters to watch
  • Culture: We managed to catch a reggae/rock band featuring a Khmer singer, a french MC and a man somewhere from the Caribbean. There are tons of lounges, bars and clubs as well.
  • Walkability. But if you’re not into that, then cheap transpo (you can get most anywhere in the city with a tuk tuk under $3).

The one downer was the uber sad history of the country. We stopped by S-21 the military prison used by the Khmer Rouge to torture and kill thousands of people and the Killing Fields where even more died. The entire city of Phnom Penh was forced to march to the countryside and endure forced labor. 1 out of 4 Cambodians perished in less than four years. This was all shockingly less than a generation ago (the 70s) and yet the people here have been some of the nicest we’ve met anywhere. It’s incredible to see how the city has recovered and how alive and kicking it is.

We stayed for four days before leaving for Mondulkiri, the mountains and jungles region of Cambodia, but this was one city we could have easily lingered and stayed longer in.

Okay less babbling. More pictures!

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Num Pang Sammitch (Cambodian Banh Mi) Lady casually weaving through eight lanes of traffic whizzing by her without slowing down.
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Dudes playing a Cambodian version of hackysack that’s played with a kinda badminton shuttlecock thing? They played like national champs.

Tried buying one of these to import the game to Dolores Park & Union Square but couldn’t find one. Peep this video (not mine):

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Lunch @ Malis, Phnom Penh
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Night market. If you provide straw mats…
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They will come! (It was a wonderfully chill way to spend an evening…)
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Free concert showcasing young talent singing old school ballads and newish sounding dance pop. It was pretty suhweet.
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The most moist, delicious coconut cake baked with love by the lovely French owner of Bistrot Bassac, where we ate our last meal in Phnom Penh before hopping onto our bus…

 

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Bye bye, Bistrot Bassac! We will come back for coconut cake the next time we’re back!

 

k. that’s it. CIAO!

Next Stop: Mondulkiri, Northeast Cambodia.

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2 thoughts on “Phnom Penh

  1. Yay you’re going to Mondulkiri. If you can, check out http://www.mondulkiriproject.org/
    We did an elephant walk through the jungle. It’s a great way to experience the majesty of the elephants while supporting a good cause! We loved it, despite Daphne getting bitten by leeches.

    xoxo
    Daphne & Jordan

    Like

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