Sunday, 6 May 2012

Phnom Penh May 3rd 2012

A Day in Phnom Penh.

Today isn't going to be anything like a comprehensive tour of PP, and a trip to the killing fields probably won't feature due to time constraints, with the site being someway from the city. Anything worth looking at seems to be along the riverside according to the tourist map, given out by the Guesthouse last night, so a hike towards the Palace might be a start. Before any of that though, time for some food. Plenty of places to get a western style greasy breakfast, muesli or fruit with yogurt, all rather pricy though, anything between 2 1/2 to 6 US Dollars. I know where to go though - last night on the quick, and , disastrous food tour I spotted a place that serves an 'eat all you can' buffet breakfast for one price, $2.70. Sounds like good value and worth checking out, so from King it's up 110 street towards the river, then Right along Sisowath towards 118 Street and it's just on the corner. Fried rice, scrambled eggs, bread, baguette, grilled tomatoes, fried eggs, fruit and a host of French pastries. I went for seconds, then a plate of pineapple with pastries, then coffee, and more. I did feel a bit like Mr. Greedy, but justified after the rather disappointing food last night! Beggars, every 10 minutes or so pop up from nowhere, as do hawkers trying to sell Lonely Planet guide books, and, well, the unfortunate wheel chair bound folk also make a beeline for tourists spots. It's a time when ones charitable side needs to say know more than yes, since it will just never end!

Better get exploring or the day will be over are thoughts as breakfast, which is now also lunch, digests. A plan - walk along the river until things become boring, then maybe head over towards the S21 museum. To say its hot is probably an understatement, but 33-35 deg c is something I'm used to now and with cold water available everywhere then it's manageable, particularly as there is an occasional breeze. Afternoons are always slightly cooler since clouds build, taking away direct sunlight and creating more breezes in the build up to storms.

Along the river then, plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants and all rather pricey though. Theory is that the huge expat community here has pushed up prices significantly. Yep, plenty of whites, middle aged and plump, walking around rather arrogantly it has to be said. Whilst at breakfast, at least six whites passed the place, totally ignoring the waiters pointing out the special breakfast deal. Not even a smile, or a 'no thank you' acknowledgement - a very sad state of affairs indeed. A few tourists are here, not the hundreds seen in Thailand, and not the alcoholic crowd either. On with the tour, and no lack of religious architecture. Looking around a Buddhist compound down a side street turns out to be quite an interesting experience.

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