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ardelia Phnom Penh - A travel report by Ardelia
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Phnom Penh,  Cambodia - flag Cambodia
3024 readers

ardelia's travel reports

Phnom Penh

  21 votes
Breathing the fresh morning air of the Tonle Sap Lake and the noise of the noisy speed boat ,4 hours of journey from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh was an unforgettable one.The lake seems alive,with people living on both sides of the banks,houses on high stilts.


The Central Market,a busy place packed with locals and tourists.
The Central Market,a busy place packed with locals and tourists.
Phnom Penh-Once the loveliest French built city of Indochina, now is full of thousand bikes,contributing to its busy & dusty roads,sound of non stop honking,motor-taxi harrassing you,offering you to take you anywhere,and what's more,they're all thinking I'm one of them Khmer.Thanks to my Malay look,as most of them here,look like any Malays I have seen back home.Phnom Penh's streets are all or usually parallel to its Achar Mean Boulevard or now known as the Monivong Boulevard. Along the streets,there are many shops selling everything from clothes to food. All the road names are changed after 1979 and been changing every too often until today. Odd numbered streets run more or less north to south with the number rising in a semi-sequential order as you move from east to west. Even numbered streets run in an east-west direction rising semi-quarterly as you move from north to south. I watched the film,The Killing Field. So one of my main agenda in Phnom Penh was to visit the field,despite the very dusty road all the way to the field and having to pay about US$8,all for the dusty road! The Killing Field was so unbelievable,still having all the remains of bones and clothes coming out from the many mass graves,simply depressing.It was after raining season,last December 2004,so all of the clothes and bones hadn't been cleared yet.I was basically walking on a big human grave and I even saw a tree,still standing there strong,that was used to hit the children on their heads,so as to save their precious bullets.Palm tree leaves were used to slowly slight the throat of people they needed to get information from.The river by the field is still,until today full of remains and bones of the victim.It was so mind blowing this place,and the trip must be followed by the S-21 High School in order to get a better picture,whether before of after doesn't matter.Because all the prisoners were taken from the Toul Souk High School to the Killing Field and brutally killed there.

Favourite spots:
The river with a mosque on the other side of the river bank.
The river with a mosque on the other side of the river bank.
I like the riverside best, I like it best at night but in the morning it can be quite nice too, having breakfast in one of the many sidewalk cafe or on the first floor for better view of the river Tonle Sap. The Russian Market is a nice place to shop, almost everything is there, from local food to cheap handbags and also, silver accessories which I found to be so tempting, and I bought a couple there too. Toul Souk or the S-21 High School turned prison during the Khmer Rouge Regime was a very spooky place to visit and it brought me to tears, seeing the bed and the shackle and the many ways they tortured the prisoners, from men to women to young kids and babies too. How can I not feel anything when the blood stain on the flood serves as evident of how gruesome their cruelty acts were done.They were very well documented-they had the picture taken from the day a person was imprisoned and the pictures after being tortured. All the pictures were nicely displayed there in the school.

What's really great:
Skeletons,only not in the cupboard.At the Killing Field
Skeletons,only not in the cupboard.At the Killing Field
I like the riverside,where I can just walk around looking over the river. I like also the Palace abd the Bridge where it was bombed when the Khmer Rouge took over the town and cut of any connection with the outside world. The bridge has been re-built.Then I went to see the French Embassy,though only from the outside,just to look at the building.It is quite close to the bridge. The Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda is also a must if you havent seen enough temple by the time you're in Phnom Penh. The Jetty Karl Marx Quai is also a nice scenic place to take pictures of the bridge and also passing by boats and sampans. This jetty is used to go to Chau Doc and Saigon or if you're coming from or going to Siem Reap.

Sights:
At the Killing Field
At the Killing Field
-Riverside
-Central Market right in the middle of the city
-Killing Field
-Bridge
-Toul Souk
-Russian Market
-Mosque

Accommodations:
The bridge which was rebuilt and also the river which witnessed everything that happened to the city
The bridge which was rebuilt and also the river which witnessed everything that happened to the city
I didnt really like the hotel but it is located along the Monivong Boulevard, so it is quite convenient. But bear in mind there are many hotels, cheap or middle range all around Phnom Penh and you can even get room as cheap as US$5 to US$10. Be picky and choosy but they need you to stay with them!! I stayed in a hotel called the Asia Hotel (at 170, Monivong Boulevard Tel: 855 23 427 825/ 23 217 826)

It is not too bad if you don't mind staying in a hotel full of people and it is not that cosy. Don't forget also to insist for a room with a good view,unless you don't mind staring at a back of somebody's apartment. It costs more of course to have a nice room with a nice view..

Nightlife:
A lot of nice buildings..very French..o la la..
A lot of nice buildings..very French..o la la..
Didnt go to any,so I guess,there are many along the riverside. More than a handful..

Restaurants:
A boat!
A boat!
I liked this restaurant called Bali and they offered Indonesian Food (Yeah, I know,in Cambodia and eating Indoneisan food!!) I was actually craving for rice, and halal one too. so this is a good place but it was quite costly,located on the first floor and its ambience makes you feel like you're in Bali or somewhere in Indoenesia. The address is

379,Preah Sisowath,Phnom Penh.Tel: 023-982211 (Should I be getting paid for this?) I would recommend you to try the ice lemon tea-it was so tasty,the tastiest I have tasted in my life. :)

Other recommendations:
Toul Souk High School,a bed in room,used to torture victims
Toul Souk High School,a bed in room,used to torture victims
I have said it all. Try taking a motorbike tour all around the city or take a tuk-tuk, can be quite interesting!! Wear a mask to cover your nose and mouth. Breathing can be not only of air (If it's even oxygen!) but a mixture of sand and dust particles!! I am warning anyone who is going ,cause I got a very bad sore throat and my tonsils were swollen because of the polluted air. :) Have fun & enjoy!! Phnom Penh will be missed definitely once you're out of it

Published on Thursday January 27th, 2005


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Thu, May 19 2005 - 07:59 AM rating by subdha

wow ,how nicely you wrote this report

Sun, May 08 2005 - 02:10 AM rating by kandath

Well written and thoroughly enjoyable, Ardelia. Well done!!
Kris

Mon, Jan 31 2005 - 08:39 AM rating by magsalex

A great report. Will prove useful for a future trip there.

Sat, Jan 29 2005 - 05:13 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

hii ardelia,
very informative and nice report.

Fri, Jan 28 2005 - 01:33 PM rating by bear495

Nicely done. This is the type of report that makes me want to continue with this site.

Russ

Thu, Jan 27 2005 - 11:39 AM rating by johnnye00

I was fascinated by your trip. Great job on putting it into words.

Thu, Jan 27 2005 - 09:13 AM rating by rangutan

Beautifull pictures, description almost complete, Excellent!

Thu, Jan 27 2005 - 08:10 AM rating by davidx

You really interest me in a place I don't know at all. Very informative and a well earned 5*

Thu, Jan 27 2005 - 05:16 AM rating by britman

Excellent atmospheric report...you almost transport the reader there! Well done and well worth *****

Thu, Jan 27 2005 - 03:47 AM rating by picasso

Wonderful report with a lot of information.

Boris

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