My Travel Map!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A road less traveled; Phnom Penh -Apr2010-

It was intentionally a short trip. 2 days and 2 nites only (the first day doesnt count since we arrived very late in the evening), but the experience is one of a kind, I would say. I personally arranged evrything myself, n I never prefer Phnom Penh, as Siem Rheap is more popular if u were to compare . But it was surprising for us to find so many tourists in PP. N I think dats y they use US dollar as their common currency. Its very rare to find ppl in PP using Riel (Cambodia currency) to make purchase. But I think the local does. I have to pay everything in USD (n dats not cheap), even in the market!

We took a Tuk-Tuk(motorcycle wif roof) from the airport for USD7 (n u have to add USD2 more for taxi, if u dont prefer Tuk-Tuk). We never take taxis as we can easily find it in Malaysia..:D..Well, u might want to consider having mouth-cover since the air is not dat clean in PP. There's a another option which is using Motodop (3-seaters motorcycle) and its even cheaper, but its not really convenient if u r travelling long distance (more than 5km)

Accomodation..........We stayed at BoddhiTreeGuestHouse ( , "Del-Gusto" branch , and it's a bliss..Its actually a French Colonial House being converted to guest house, they have approx. 5-6 rooms (diff selection), and we took the second room, which is located onthe second floor. The place is similar to a house, rather than hotels, where they have shared living rooms (2 living rooms on the second floor), shared bathroom (a very clean one), shared verandah, etc...We didnt feel like stayin in a hotel at all. It is more to feeling like staying over ur fren's house.:D..(i dunno y, but i think the mosquito net seems like a romantic idea). The place is so clean, and the staff are very friendly. Its a tip-top service, they'll serve u cold warm water wif lemon everytime they see u..hahaha...I hope to find similar guesthouses/hotels in other countries.

Boddhi Tree Del Gusto Guesthouse - our room!
MUST VISIT.......We took our own sweet time here, not to rush anything. Its basically our second honeymoon! And there's not much to see in PP (but there's many places to shop!!) Well, basically the top attractions (and the places that we went for) are ;

1) Toel Sleng Museum : ex-prison, its kinda spooky, so I chose not to go..but again, its a MUST VISIT tourist spot, so if you have the courage, just go
Royal Palace
2) Royal Palace : completed before WW1, wif involvement from French administrators, and Thai designers n architects. You have to pay for the entrance, its around 25,000riel,person,which is around usd6 per person. And dont wear short skirts, pants coz they will not allow you to go in then.

3) Silver Pagoda : its part of Royal Palace, located on the south side of Royal Palace
4) National Museum : houses cool collection of Khmer art, sculptures, etc. And the building structure is cool too. The entrance fee is around USD3 per person
5) Tonle Sap River Cruise : among the top ten to do in cambodia. The ride starts around 5 (for you to experience sunset), and the sunset trip is for 1 hour, and you have to pay around usd10 per person. Excellent view on phnom penh city, the fisherman and the nomades living on the other side of the river

6) Russian Market : a place to find good silk products, HOLLISTER, ABERCROMBIE & FITCH, etc t-shirts (that costs only usd2.5 each), local crafts, CDs, DVDs and many other cool stuffs. You'll be surpised, coz everything is in USD. Its a confined space, and the route is pretty haywired. Its a better option for bargainers though, but not for those who are not used to small spaces, and congested area

Shopping spree at Russian Market

7) Night Market : Its located in the middle of the city, and its smaller compared to Russian Market.

Eating places at the Night Market

8) Central Market

9) Foreign Correspondent Club Cafe (FCCC) :located somewhere in the riverfront. Its one of the top recommended restaurant/bar

FOOD!!!You don't have to worry because there's a lot of restaurants/eating places you can enjoy in PP. Worst case scenario, don't take meats (for the Muslims). Always go for vege food..haha..We usually have our breakfast at Boddhi Tree; plain bread with strawberry jam, bananas, and tea/coffee. The price is not that bad, USD1 for tea/coffee, etc. And if we're not going anymore until lunch time, vege pizza is always our choice..haha. 

There's one halal restaurant that we went couple of times when we were in PP; Warung Bali, located very close to National Museum, an Indonesian restaurant (well, its spelled Bali, so it must be Indonesian right?). I think the price is cheaper if you were to compare with other restaurants (maybe the cheapest among all). We discovered this small restaurant when we were about to go to the famous Friends restaurant, which is located nearby.I heard the place is famous among locals and backpackers, and is operated on basis to help Cambodian childrens.

Don't forget to try out Khmer food while you are in Cambodia. Check out Foreign Correspondent Club Cafe (FCCC),quite an awesome place for you to hang out.
We tried Khmer fish curry, and the coconut milk and the tamarind sauce were served separately. Erm, couldn't describe much on the food, since my taste bud is prone towards original Malay and Indian curry.

Gonna visit PP again for these;
  1. Eating for a cause -Friends on Street 13, very close to National Museum. http://http//
  2. Romdeng on Street 278 just near the Independence Monument also trains former street youth and serves up traditional Khmer cuisine 
  3. Le Rits, on Street 310 just off Norodom Boulevard . Food is a good mix of European and Asian.
  4. The Lazy Gecko on Street 93 is one of the most well-established lakeside restaurants and offers a large selection of tasty, reasonably-priced Western dishes served in a comfortable environment. 
  5. Jars of Clay, located near the energy-sapping Russian Market, is an expat-oriented coffee and lunch place where the food is reasonable and the setting peaceful. 
  6. Cafe Fresco, a trendy coffee shop and deli, below the FCC and run by the same people, for a cool smoothy and sandwich in air-con comfort or an early morning java on the patio. A 50% discount applies to baked goods between 17:00 and 20:00. 
  7. Java Cafe and Gallery is a funky, airy place overlooking Sihanouk Boulevard -- it has an excellent breakfast menu with generous portions but somewhat high prices. 
  8. Kiwi Bakery on Sisowath Quay is a good place to head for baked goods, as well as Western dishes and meat pies. At night, it doesn't have the best atmosphere of the riverside places
  9. Khmer Surin is generally the first Khmer place to be recommended to visitors, hence the touristy feel to the place. The restaurant doubled in size in late 2008, and you can now enter via the original restaurant or at the "South Gate." They claim authentic Khmer cuisine and their menu is exhaustive, though leaves out market standards. The ambience resembles that of a high-class restaurant, but the prices are budget, with most mains costing about $3.50.
  10. Khmer Kitchen is a similar setup to Khmer Surin with reasonably priced Thai and Khmer food. 

I'm gonna come back for Phnom Penh very soon, in fact, I'm gonna come back for more BoddhiTree guesthouse, just lav it!