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deedles Phnom Penh - A travel report by Deedles
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Phnom Penh,  Cambodia - flag Cambodia
5028 readers

deedles's travel reports

Phnom Penh - A city with a sad history

  6 votes
Page: 1 2
I arrived in Phonm Penh by air from Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. The flight was quite short and expensive! I believe now, the roads have been upgraded, so I would go this way instead of flying in the future.

Seller in Phnom Penh
Seller in Phnom Penh
On arrival at the airport, I had to get a visa, this was an easy process and it wasn't long before I was in a Taxi and on my way to my Hotel.

Tuk - Tuks or Remorque-moto as they are known here, were everywhere. I found out they are a cheap way to get around the city, and if you are lucky, you may get a good driver like the one who looked after me. He was nice, spoke English, and took me to all the sights, and stopped whenever I wanted a photo. Best of all, the price was cheap!

My Hotel was opposite the river, a nice position, with good restaurants all around and within easy walking distance of all the sights.

An added plus, was that it had a balcony, I really enjoyed sitting on this in the evenings...........Phnom Penh comes to life then!

I visited places where I learnt the history on the war, so sad, and not so long ago. People were quite friendly, they didn't pester as much as some other Asian countries!

A sad sight was the beggars here who had horrific injuries, my heart went out to them. A couple of horrific ones, I couldn't get out of my mind for quite a while, quite upsetting seeing them.

I also saw a lot of funny and unusual sights, like the Ladies selling goods in baskets on their heads, Utes and buses crammed full and overflowing with people, never seen anything like it before!

Motorbikes and Trucks overloaded with goods. The river was busy also!

Favourite spots:
On the road at Phnom Penh
On the road at Phnom Penh
It was hard for me to choose a favorite spot, as here in Phnom Penh, what I really enjoyed was watching all the unusual modes of transport and I enjoyed the huge Markets.

At the base of Wat Phnom, there were a lot of wild monkeys. People were selling food for you to feed them with, so I bought some and enjoyed this activity! Would you believe, at Wat Phnom, I actually saw a Monkey going through a woman's hair!

What's really great:
Royal Palace
Royal Palace
Something I didn't expect to see, was a stunning Royal palace! It was built in 1866, as the residence of the King of Cambodia, his family and foreign dignitaries. It is now the home of the current King...... King Norodom Sihamoni.

The Royal Palace complex and attached 'Silver Pagoda' compound consist of several buildings, and beautifully landscaped gardens all located within walled grounds overlooking a riverfront park. Many of the buildings of the Royal Palace, were constructed using traditional Khmer architectural style but also incorporated European features and design as well. One from this period is the Napoleon Pavilion which was a gift from France in 1876.

I spent so much time here walking around and marvelling at the beauty of this Palace & gardens, it would have to be my favorite place in Phnom Phen

Inside the Prison
Inside the Prison
Prior to 1975, Toul Sleng was a high school. When the Khmer Rouge came into power, it was converted into the S-21 prison and interrogation facility. Inmates at this prison were held in tiny brick cubicles and systematically tortured, sometimes over a period of months, to extract the desired ‘confessions,’ after which the victim was executed at the killing field of Choeung Ek just outside the city.

S-21 processed over 17,000 people, only less than a dozen survived.

Much has been left as it was, when the Khmer Rouge abandoned it in January 1979. The prison kept extensive records, leaving thousands of photos of their victims, lots of these are displayed as well as paintings of torture at the prison done by a survivor of Toul Sleng.

The Tuol Sleng compound is now a museum, a memorial, a place to wander around and wonder how people could be so cruel to another human life!

It certainly is full of sad memories. Take your time to wander through the buildings and to look at the exhibits

Paragon Hotel
Phnom Penh
Paragon Hotel Phnom Penh
The Paragon Hotel is in an excellent position on the riverfront.

I had a room overlooking the river, with a shared balcony, but I was the only one who used it.

It had 2 double beds and was a large room. The bathroom was large, but on the first day, it flooded from the drain, and the bath filled with water. I complained, and they fixed the plumbing.

The towels were grey, and one had a hole in it.

No Breakfast, and no computer to use. Didn't matter about breakfast as there were excellent restaurants next door.

The stairs were steep and I had to use them most of the time, because of electricity blackout. There was a lift. The room is airconditioned, and tea or coffee is available to be made in your room.

It is in a very noisy position, traffic seems to go all night. I wouldn't return to this Hotel!

The place to be at night was the Riverside Promenade. I think half of Phnom Penh come here in the evenings and who could blame them in the hot weather. By the River it is a little cooler and some were swimming. There were mobile food stalls, one in particular selling sweetcorn on a stick was doing a roaring trade. Then I watched a game of Basketball amongst a group of men, this soon brought quite a crowd!

Riverside Restaurant's
Riverside Restaurant's
The nice Restaurant's at Phnom Penh are located along the riverside. I went to a few of them, and they all were good! All of them had indoor dining as well as outdoors which was really nice when the weather was fine. Storm's come up very quickly I found out, and the rain is torrential for a short time, so if eating out, and you see the clouds darkening, it may pay to move inside while seating is available. This happened to me!

Other recommendations:
The museum is an eye-catching structure, and is the country's leading historical and archaeological museum. The Museum buildings are inspired by Khmer temple architecture, were constructed between 1917 and 1924, and are a Rust Red colour, very attractive looking. Inside is one of the world's largest collections of Khmer art, including sculpture, ceramics, and lots more. The Museum’s collection includes over 14,000 items, from prehistoric times to periods before, during, and after the Khmer Empire. There is also a collection of important Buddhist and Hindu sculpture. Pieces date back to the 6th century. I found this museum to be very good and interesting, it was just a pity that no photo's were allowed inside the building

Published on Thursday March 31th, 2011

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Thu, Mar 31 2011 - 12:06 PM rating by eirekay

Nice detail in this report and your descriptions are very colorful!

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