Cambodia's recent history is devastating, but modern Phnom Penh is a city on the go making up for lost time. Here are some ideas for two days in Phnom Penh.
This is a harrowing experience and backing up after the previous day's visit to Tuol Sleng we were losing faith in humanity. So we dedicated the afternoon to more cheerful pursuits.
We lunched at Friends which is dedicated to helping former street kids, with a strong focus on skill development. The food is tasty Khmer fusion, dished up in tasting plate proportions, which saves the difficulty of choosing only one of the tempting menu items. Friends Restaurant is conveniently close to the National Museum, with a good collection of Khmer art. Reminding yourself of the beautiful things in Cambodia is another good salve for the soul.
From here stroll down to the Central Market. The wares on offer are unexceptional, but the large yellow art-deco building which houses it is worth checking out. Continue on to Wat Phnom to see saffron robed monks strolling around and, if you're lucky you can also catch a devotional music performance.
For the shoestringers, here are some basic prices for two days in Phnom Penh. Except where otherwise stated, all prices are for two people in US dollars (which are widely used in place of the local Riel, most ATMs dispense dollars).
- Accommodation - $12/ night
- Food from a street stall - $4 to $8
- Food at a restaurant/ cafe - $12 to $30 (including drinks)
- Beer - $0.50 (per beer)
- Drinks at FCC - start at $2.75 for a local beer, wine starts at $4.50, mixers start at $3.45 (two for one happy hour between 5 and 7 pm)
- Entry to Tuol Sleng - $6
- Entry to Cheun Ek - $12 (includes audio guide)
- Remarque, return journey to Cheun Ek from the city $15
There it is. Two full days in Phnom Penh. We learnt a bit, despaired about humanity a bit and ate a lot.
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