We’d heard a lot of mixed reviews about Phnom Penh but the thing that most intrigued us were the various different and unusual pronunciations. We had been pronouncing it with a silent P a la pneumonia or psychology, for example. However we had been hearing all sorts of sounds, mostly with a hard P. That can’t be right surely? Well, I think it is. Awkward.
Confusing pronunciation aside, we really enjoyed our time here. There’s stacks to do, and loads to see as well. Not least of which was the notorious former school turned Khmer Rouge prison of S21 and The Killing Fields. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to go to both of these places (hoping I don’t sound worthy!) — of course it’s difficult to see, but like Bergen Belsen in Poland, or The Death Railway in Thailand, it will put into context how far Cambodia has come, and go a little way to understanding their history.
We didn’t just depress ourselves though, we also managed to fit in some other important sights…..aka shopping and eating. I was craving a burger, and on the bus down we’d seen a great Cambodian song called Hamburger (no joke, it’s mega lolz) so went straight to the source of the video — Lucky Burger.
Supporting local businesses, Lucky Burger in Cambodia.
Along our culinary trail we also enjoyed some YUMMY carrot cake and real earl grey tea for bargain prices at Jars of Clay, happy hour drinks with free peanuts at the Foreign Correspondants’ Club and some delicious Cambodian tapas at Friends Restaurant which helps to train street kids up. Great eating all round.
We also had an amazing day at this place too.
The Flicks 2, air conditioned cinematic genius….
The Flicks are amazing! It was started by some ex pats, and is now a co op community based project with volunteer staff, and 3 branches (Flicks 1 and 2 as well as 3 which is open air and seasonal). We went to the Flicks 2, based on what we wanted to watch (The Railway Man and The Killing Fields) and enjoyed a free drink afterwards at the attached hostel, 11 Happy Backpackers.
One of the great things about Phnom Penh, is how easily accessible everything is on foot. It’s pretty hot though, so you’re forgiven if you want to escape the blistering heat and grab a moto or remorque-moto (tuk tuk). There’s good scope for haggling them down by the way. We stayed in the BKK area, and found we could walk to most places easily….even after dark, despite being scare-mongered by various people/guidebooks.
It’s also heaving with all sorts of traffic, and you can happily people watch for hours. It’s less inviting when you want to cross the scary roads though, roads which Oli pronounced as ‘anarchy’.
This little tuk tuk driver drove a very hard bargain….
Save your efforts and grab hold of a car
We also generally just enjoyed the fun street action and super friendly people. Phnom Penh, we ❤️ you long time.