Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Mind the Crap
Oh, Phnom Penh. Such a shithole. The butt crack of the world — where the scum settles in the tourist area. So many beggars and ruthless business people selling their everything (including their children). I felt generally unsafe in Phnom Penh. Maybe because of the horror stories I had read. Maybe because on the first night a child, who we wouldn’t buy a bracelet from, followed us through the streets and called us shitheads. I’m not sure. What I am sure of though, is that Phnom Penh is not the most accurate or pleasant introduction to Cambodia.
We stayed at the Angkor International Hotel whose $10/night fan rooms didn’t have windows and had all the charm of a prison cell, but it was the best option we could find on our budget.
They did, however, have a nice patio, if you don’t mind having a tuk tuk driver stick his head through the bushes to try to sell you a ride every ten minutes or so; or the aroma of day-old market garbage, left out in the blistering sun to fester, wafting around you; or over priced beer. But it was a short walk to the waterfront, yet far enough away that you weren’t smack-bang in the middle of the tourist tumult.
We did a nice little walking tour – a difficult feat in the city’s sweltering heat. We saw Wat Phnom ($1) and the Central Market.
After 3 nights in Phnom Penh, we headed out of the city to a more relaxed atmosphere: Kompong Chhnang, Cambodia.