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Cambodia - Phnom Penh - Sexpat Central

CAMBODIA | Wednesday, 13 July 2011 | Views [2510] | Comments [1]

Royal Palace

Royal Palace

Destination – Cambodia – Phnom Penh – Hello Sir, tuk-tuk? Maybe later? Tomorrow then?

We had to leave Vietnam, and on the last day of our second visa, we catch a pretty decent bus to Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital. We’ve heard mixed reviews about it but somehow we think we might like it anyway. We arrive in the afternoon and, though our hotel is very nice we find out very soon it’s very far from the action. We soon change hotels to another place near the river front, this time, the Golden House Hotel, neat! We start walking around and just catch a glimpse of the many wats (temples) and palaces to be seen in this town.  Also, after one of the most pyrotechnical food poisoning experiences of this trip, from our first dinner here, (courtesy of the Noodle Boat restaurant) we are rewarded the following day with one of the best meals ever at the Le Resto du Coin - (On the Corner) Restaurant, soon to become our regular. The steaks and Khmer food are to die for!  We were also rewarded by the lovely Cambodian people who decide to share a beautiful Buddhist ceremony in a small temple along the river with us. Lovely live music, colourful sights of fruit and flowers and the sweetest fragrance of incense. Liking it already!

We do a bit of shopping and sightseeing and start really enjoying Phnom Penh. Much nicer then we’ve expected and again, don’t even get us started on the food. The “chicken amok” makes you want to run amok! Loc Lac pork? Awesome!

Ok, there’s a lot of poverty around, tiny street kids, victims of polio and landmines, and an awful lot prostitution going on.  There’s a shocking high number of older, beer & Viagra-enhanced western gentlemen, enjoying the services of way too young Cambodian girls. Some of the guys should really be in a nursing home… scary!  These sleazeballs are also known as “sexpats”. Embarrassing? Disgusting? Totally!

The promenade along the river is gorgeous. We visit the beautiful Royal Palace, wats, the night market, the central market, the endless Russian market and in between walks and sights, we also keep on tasting all the amazing food available. Thai, Vietnamese, French, Khmer, bring it on! The architecture, although mostly new, is fascinating and the monsoon weather is definitely giving us a break. We visit the genocide museum and the killing fields and learn all about the Pol Pot regime, macabre heritage and a bit more of the history of this country. We also go for a happy hour cocktail jug at the charming FCC (Foreign Correspondents Club), a super cool colonial building overlooking the river promenade.  If you’re ever around this place, don’t miss it.

Even before you step out of you hotel, the shouts for “Hello Sir, Tuk-Tuk?” are heard. When you are having your meals, you can feel the eyes of the tuk-tuk drivers on you, and they follow you every step of the way, tuk-tuk? Tuk-tuk? tuk-tuk? No, thank you, we don’t want any tuk-freaking-tuk! It really drives you insane and you have to try hard not to be rude, after all, people are just trying to make a living. In spite of the tuk-tuk drivers, we really enjoy this place, even if we don’t really know why. It’s kind of grows on you.

 

Comments

1

I guess you see what you are looking for.

Cambodia has a lot to offer.

The things you describe are i almost every developing country.
Once you have spent a bit of time awy rom mummy's- it won't shock you so much.

  been there Feb 24, 2013 11:49 AM

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