"Despite the history a wonderful place to see" Phnom Penh by pmarshuk
Phnom Penh Travel Guide: 1,560 reviews and 4,177 photos
Back in Phnom Penh again in November 2003 - even better than I remembered it.
I stayed in Phnom Penh for just a few days after a visit to Angkor. Probably because of the lack of mass tourism, I found this to be a truely authentic city almost totally lacking in Airs and Graces. Of course they want to attract tourists and there are quite a lot of places which cater to the tourist trade. I visited in the hight of the hot season, so there were less tourists around anyway, added to this it was at the height of the SARs scare which gave even fewer visitors to SE Asia.
In Phnom Penh it is impossible to ignore the recent history of Cambodia and the effect that the Khmer Rouge regime had on the country. This is reflected in the number of beggars on the streets who are amputees from being wounded by landmines. Also the average age of the population is very young (42% of the population were under 14 years old in 2000). One big reason for this is that the Pol Pot regime wiped out about 25% of the population in the 1970's.
It may not sound like a holiday thing to do, but I think every visitor to Phnom Penh should visit Tuol Sleng (The Museum of Genocode) and Cheung Ek (The Killing Fields) to appreciate the scale and horror of this period. See my travelogue for more on these sites.
Despite their tragic recent history the Khmer people are wonderful, very frIendly to tourists, of course they want you to visit and spend money but the friendliness goes beyond that. Maybe its because of the lack of tourists that they haven't been too "corrupted" yet. I use the word corrupted carefully and it do not include the current government in the description. However their recent election has been was monitored by outside observers without too many issues.
- Pros:So peaceful after Saigon and Bangkok. Wonderful people
This is the Foreign Correspondents Club on the banks of the Tonle Sap. A great example of French Colonial Architecture more travel advice
This Wat is built on the hill at the point where Phnom Penh was supposedly founded. The story goes that a lady named... more travel advice
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