Neither of us had any clue what to expect from Cambodia. We wouldn’t have even have added it to our travel plans if it hadn’t been for the rave reviews from our friends. We knew we wanted to go to Siem Reap to see the temples of Angkor Wat but other than that we were a bit stumped.
Since we were heading there from Vietnam we decided to start in the capital of Phnom Penh and see what we could find.
What we found was a city on the brink of becoming a big cosmopolitan and a ‘must visit’ city. The Cambodian people were very kind and always smiling which made being in the city much easier but there were a lot of sellers trying to entice you to buy their wears at every turn. Unfortunately it also seems very popular in Phnom Penh to use your children to get money. I’m not a fan of this and it upsets me so much to see little kids being pushed to sell bracelets but PLEASE don’t buy things from them as you just proving that it pays to take your kids out of school. I know i’ve banged on about this before so I’ll stop my blog-rant but try to hold back as much as possible.
The highlights of this city definitely seem to be the palaces and buildings. Such detail is put into the surrounding architecture. A normal government building would have me taking pictures for far too long. Cambodian food is also a highlight. Quite a few people we talked to had suffered from food poisoning so unfortunately it is better to eat in restaurants than on the street but hopefully this will change as the country grows. My personal favourite food was the Amok curry… a coconut, creamy yellow curry sometimes served in a coconut. mmm I miss them already.
Surprisingly Cambodia is a lot of expensive for food and drink than Vietnam. In Vietnam a beer and a meal would cost about 2 dollars where as here it would be closer to 6 dollars. Still incredible compared to our home in the UK but its worth noting if you are traveling here thinking it will be the same as Thailand and Vietnam.
The moments that will stay with me most from our trip to Phnom Penh will definitely be the time we spent in the war prison. This old converted school is haunting. The blood still paints the floors and the eerie feeling of the horrors that took place here still hang in every room. It is a disturbing place to visit that will pull your day down but it is something I’d recommend. I’m really glad we got to understand the country we were in a little more. It is also shocking when you realise how recent all these events happened in Cambodia and how every person we met on our trip near our age or older was effected in some way by the events put into place by Pol Pot and his Communist regime. I didn’t take any photos , out of respect, while I was there . I couldn’t bring myself to snap anything in such a place but please take our word for it that it is a haunting place and one that should be visited.