If NY is the Big Apple, PP is the Little Lychee

Trip Start May 04, 2011
Trip End Oct 08, 2012

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Where I stayed
Fancy Guest House Phnom Penh
Read my review - 4/5 stars
What I did
National Museum Phnom Penh
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Royal Palace Phnom Penh
Read my review - 1/5 stars
The Killing Fields (Choeung Ek) Phnom Penh
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum Phnom Penh
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Cambodia  ,
Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The capital of Cambodia has a bit more to offer than that of Laos. The most famous thing to do is hire a tuk tuk for the day to take you on a cultural heritage tour. The somber day includes visits to the Choeung Ek Killing Fields and the S-21 torture chambers now known as Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. During the Khmer Rouge from 1975-1979 it is reported that 1.7-2 million people were slaughtered or died of malnutrition. The selected "enemies" of the party were defined as: “anyone connected to the former government,” “intellectuals and professionals,” “ethnic minorities” and “urban dwellers” with no agriculture skills. After walking through the prison, I spent the remainder of my time in Cambodia in disbelief that no one speaks of their recent history and worse yet, that even after more than 30 years; officials of Cambodia's former Khmer Rouge regime enjoy complete impunity.

Phnom Penh sits on the banks of the Mekong River lined with cheesy tourist bars, although you'll find more expats around Boeung Keng Kang 1 neighborhood. Luckily during my return stay to PP with Couchsurfing host Toby from Norway, I had the opportunity to frequent some of the trendy bars and cafes around this area. There are also a couple of popular markets to check out here: Russian Market (good for souvenirs), Phsar Reatrey (Night Market) and the more modern Central Market. A great place to find a matching top and bottom set that resemble what we identify as pajamas; when in reality this constitutes a Khmer women’s daily outfit.

If you are ever in Phnom Penh I recommend the best massage in Asia for a whopping $4/hr. located across the street from stylish boutique Hotel 9. And be prepared for the incessant tuk tuk drivers, who brought back memories of the relentless shopkeepers in India. Another must when visiting Phnom Penh is the delicious cuisine and frozen daiquiris served at Friends the restaurant, part of the NGO, Friend’s International
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