Saturday, 14 May 2016

Globe Wandering: Cambodia : Phnom Penh

Friday 13 May: Phnom Penh

I've always loved Cambodia, but I've never been a huge fan of Phnom Penh.  The city feels lost and sad to me.  The people aren't as friendly as other places in Asia, and as a traveler I've never felt welcome there.  This time was no different but the city itself seemed worse...

I remember 12 years ago sitting on the concrete serpent fence that borders the park opposite the National Museum to watch the sunset.  I took photos on that fence with fellow travelers.  It's a good memory of that time.  A secondary fence has been built around that park now.  It can't be ore than 6 years old but it is decaying and decrepit.  It seems to serve a dual function. Firstly, to hold in the piles of rubbish - everything from food containers to broken furniture - that has been thrown in and built up around the original concrete wall, and, secondly, to provided some privacy for people smoking bongs and defecating on the parks lawns.  The whole street smells like a public restroom that hasn't been cleaned since 1983 and is about as inviting as said restroom in a dark park in the middle of the night.

Most streets, in fact, are dirty and smelly.  I wonder why the local shop and restaurant owners don't make some effort to at least sweep the front of their own properties...

I am disappointed in myself when I start to think that Phnom Penh is a shit hole...

Still we make the most of our time in the city, taking in the cultural sites and the war history, and sitting by the river for meals and drinks during hot afternoons.

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