Chillin’ in PP (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)

This is my happy fun time positive post on Phnom Penh.  I’m saving S-21 and the genocide talk for another post.

We spent 5 lovely nights in Phnom Penh at the home of Ellen, a friend of my dear friend Kate.  Ellen left Seattle 18 years ago and has been living here since, running social services programs.  She was the kind of host we couchsurfers dreams of — offering a nice bed, good conversation, amazing meals, pointers on the city, free reign of her home and stuff — all the while working and letting us do our thing.  So thank you so much Ellen!  It was awesome. 

Phnom Penh is a really fun city to explore and would actually be somewhat walkable if cars and other obstructions were not on the wide sidewalks.  We managed to walk quite a bit – much to the dismay of the eager drivers on every corner who wished for us to hire them. 


View of the palace from our tuk tuk
One day we went to S-21 (more on that later) and then explored the Russian Market.  It was the first of many markets for us. 

Another day we went to the National Museum (good and cheap!) and I caved and bought an “American priced” tank top that caught my eye the previous day (see pink top below).  

On Soiree evening, the evening I would have been running around like a crazy woman if I were still in Seattle, we all went to see a movie then grabbed dinner at the Foreign Correspondents Club. 


Evening out at the Foreign Correspondents Club (clockwise from Brandon, Ellen, Edna, me)
What else did we do?  Lots of browsing at the local markets.  Brandon found a couple of $1.50 DVDs.  We hung out at Gloria Jeans, which felt like a Cambodia Starbucks (because of the prices). 

A few things of note about Cambodia.  There are lots of people trying to sell stuff but we found they were mostly very nice and trying to make a living.  We considered India good practice for that. 

Also, the driving in PP was a little chaotic, especially since turning into oncoming traffic to make a left turn seems to be a perfectly acceptable move here.  And not just in PP but apparently everywhere in Cambodia.

They use US dollars here as well as Cambodia riel.  When we went to the ATM, we got US Dollars.  Inconveniently, a $100 bill (thankfully easy to change in the bank).

The cats here are not nearly as nice as those in Laos.  Except for Ellen’s cats — lovely little beasts who both dropped to the ground immediately upon petting them.  “Plop”  and continue to “pet me.”  I enjoyed the cat time…



Pepper (much more loving than he looks here)
More about the Khmer Rouge, and then an update on our time in Siem Reap, exploring Angkor Wat, coming soon.

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