I instantly adored Phnom Penh when I arrived, it was perfectly chaotic. Everything around was buzzing with life and it gave off the presence of a traditional yet up and coming city.
After Cambodia’s horrific history with the mass genocide from 1975-1979, I was not quite sure what I would find here. The country is still clearly recovering from these events, but my gosh what the Cambodian nation has accomplished in only a few decades is beyond admirable.
One of my most favourite features of Cambodia has got to be the citizen themselves. They are so welcoming and bubbly, you feel like you are in great company instantly. Their ability to comprehend humour despite the language barrier is wonderful. Everyone is so family centred as seen by the way everyone shares everything especially food. Generosity comes in bucketfuls here and it’s the type of kindness I would always want to see more of.
The buildings are an enormous mix of modern to minimal. Overall though the atmosphere created is very enjoyable and the excitement of never knowing what the next scenic view will fascinate me into silence on every car ride as I stare out the TukTuk for every detail.
A massive bonus in Cambodia is just how cheap the food and drinks are, compared to home. When you can have a fully fledged meal of generous proportions and godly flavours for under £5 you know you’re in a great place. Also, delicious smoothies made with real fruit are under £1 and I must admit I have a small addiction to them because they are just divine.
The temples, killing fields, Grand Palace and night and day markets are all hugely popular and important attractions to better understand Cambodian culture and history. For a little fun entertainment, you may wish to attend a traditional dance show if possible. They are very talented and so delicate with their hand movements, it’s truly captivating.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows though… quite literally because when it rains it pours. But also TukTuk drivers and other street sellers will bother you continuously, in fairness they are just trying to make their own living so there’s no need to be rude and we should all be understanding.
The truth is tourists stand out like a sore thumb and they do assume that we are all super rich therefore you will be asked for TukTuk rides a good 20 times down the same busy street and that’s just something you have to deal with. Also, the prices are usually steeper than they need to be because you’re assumed to be super wealthy. So remember to barter for TukTuks and sales at a market, 8 out of 10 times you can cut a deal and save money because the asking price has already been hiked up beyond what is expected.
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