Discovering Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh …… The capital city of Cambodia …… You won’t find in it the usual “messy-ness” of the average capital city, yet it definitely has it’s own character.

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1) The bus & The Hotel

We took the sleeping bus from Siem Riep to Phnom Penh at night, it costs 8-10$ and it takes up to 6 hours to reach.

Since you reach in the early morning, searching for hotels isn’t going to be that difficult, bear in my mind that once you step out of the bus, you will be attacked by tuk tuk drivers who wanna take you to their own hotels.

We didn’t take any tuk tuks since the bus dropped us beside an area with plenty of hotels, we walked around for a while and asked in few hotels and we found rooms that range from 4-6$ per person per night in double/triple rooms.

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2) Sightseeing

In Phnom Penh itself, there is very few major attraction to see,

A) The royal palace

Possibly the most famous attraction in Phnom Penh.

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B) The Independence monument

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C) The silver Pagoda

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D) Central Market

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which was quite the interesting place with a lot of knock-off products that might peak your interest.

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3) Beyond Phnom Penh

There is a couple more “interesting” locations that ranks really high on the tourists “attraction” list.

They are 2 locations which were linked to the time when the Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia and did all their horrible crimes and genocides to the Cambodian people.

Warning: Some unpleasant photos ahead!!

A) The Killing Fields (Choeung Ek)

This place is located far from the city, so we had to take a tuk tuk to go there, it will cost you approx 12-15$ to rent the tuk tuk to go to the killing fields AND the S21 prison.

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Which was the place where the Khmer Rouge soldiers took the prisoners to be executed and buried.

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The ticket to enter is 6$ (with headset that gives you an audio tour) , 3$ (without).

You can find the script for the audio tour right HERE!!

B) Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21 prison)

The secret prison in the Khmer Rouge time, where they held, tortured and executed prisoners who were deemed “Against the regime”.

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The prison features the cells where the prisoners were held, and the rooms where the prisoners were executed.

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A personal note: What the Khmer Rouge did to the Cambodian people was indescribable, the amount of cruelty, ignorance, lack of humanity and just plain EVIL was incalculable, It was a horrible reign that the Cambodian people had to live through and till this day, they are still recovering from it.

This being said, upon my visit to the killing fields, it didn’t feel right, i was there watching skulls, mass graves and trees that was used to hang people and kill babies, but i didn’t need to see that to know how horrible it was back then, and those people who were mass murdered didn’t need to be “on display”, i felt that -in a way- it was a disrespect to their memories to be there and “watch” where they suffered and met their inevitable doom.

This is simply my opinion, but i strongly recommend against visiting those 2 locations, and i’m strongly against calling them a “must see”, you don’t need to go there to know about the Khmer Rouge.

you can know all you need to know about the Khmer Rouge reign from HERE and HERE!!

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4) Food

After the previous unpleasant part of this post, let’s go back to something that makes all of us happy -at least it makes ME happy-

…………… Food !! …. Even better …… BUFFETS!!

Phnom Penh has to be one of the cities with the MOST buffets I’ve ever seen, and they are working everyday for lunch and dinner, and their prices are so ridiculously cheap that we HAD to indulge.

We found a great number of buffets with the help of “Canby publications” guides, so you should check them out.

A) Sushi & Steam Boat Buffet at Shabu Shabu

This was our first buffet to try, it was a dinner buffet in a Japanese restaurant, it costed 8$ each and the buffet was WORTH IT!! Awesome-tasting great variety of sushi, a great number of choices for the steam boat, a lot of side lines, different juices, soft drinks AND ice cream.

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Gotta say it was a well deserved dinner, we got in at 7 pm and we got out when they closed the restaurant at 9:30 pm 😀

B) Italian Buffet at Hagar

The next day, we went for a lunch buffet at this amazing restaurant, it costed only 6.5$, their variety was great, and they had a chef who cooked pasta for us on demand, there is plenty of lunch buffets in Phnom Penh and they all take place between 11am – 2pm.

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Our stay in Phnom Penh was quite brief, yet we really enjoyed it and it was definitely the right city to end our journey in.

We took our flight back to Kuala Lumpur from there and it costed us approx 100$.

There will be 1 more post about our trip before i wrap it up, the post about our awesome days in The Magnificent Angkor.

So stay tuned, and till then …………..

Basel ………… OUT

(All my pictures are captured with Samsung Galaxy NoteI & NoteII phone cameras)

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