Phnom Penh

We went by bus from Saigon to Phnom Penh. The bus stop was only 5 minutes walk from our hotel.  The bus itself was very comfortable with great air conditioning and wifi!  They called it a limousine bus, and it was very comfortable, but more like a bus in the UK from the 1970s.

Catching the Mekon bus
My nan would have loved the curtains

We got to the Cambodian border area and were hoarded into what looked like a huge cattle shed with only a couple of fans to keep us cool, then it was a short bus ride to Cambodian border control.  We got through OK, but we had been warned of bribery at the border. One couple on the bus who had an anomaly on their paperwork (whatever that means) had to bribe 3 different people in order to make it in time to the bus!

Clearing the Cambodian border

8 hours after we left Saigon we were in Phnom Penh and  we got a tuk tuk with all our luggage to our hotel. Tourism in Cambodia centres on the US dollar (US dollars rather than local currency come out of all ATMs when inserting international debit cards). This means eating, drinking and just getting around is much more expensive than in Vietnam.

Sadly we didn’t have too long in Phnom Penh.We were staying in a central area with a lot of nice (pricey by Asian standards) restaurants and bars, and close to the Independence monument and statue of the king.  One thing of note in Phnom Penh is the cars. I have never seen so many Range Rovers, Porsches, Mercedes and even Ferraris. It is clear that it is a city on the up (though the locals spoke of institutional corruption).

We did manage to visit the Royal Palace and that was very impressive with its uniquely Khmer architecture, and we were close enough to walk to the Independence monument and statue of the king.

Our luxury ride to the palace
One of the many buildings in the palace complex
The complex was huge
And we saw quite a few young monks
But it tipped it down on the way back to the hotel
But luckily there was a tropical Costa Coffee near the hotel (with Costa parking attendants)
Independence monument
Statue of the king

Sadly that was almost it for our short time in Phnom Penh, the exception being about the relatively recent, and very sad and dark, chapter in Cambodian history involving S21 prison and the killing fields…further blog to follow…..




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