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Exploring the Streets of Phnom Penh

I spent the bulk of my time in Phnom Penh during my second trip to Cambodia. As I settled in the city, I didn't want to move around so much anymore, I wanted to stay in one place and just chill. I could've gone to Sihanoukville or Kampot or Kep, but decided not to as I planned on staying in Vietnam longer during my two months exploring Southeast Asia. I decided to take my sweet time exploring Phnom Penh finding cheap eats, visiting a few wats, and just slowly taking everything in.

Exploring the Streets of Phnom Penh

Independence Monument built in 1958 as a symbol of the country's freedom from France in 1953
A few minutes on a tuktuk around Phnom Penh made me think that this city looks eerily a lot like Metro Manila. There was traffic, poverty, religious monuments, and corruption...I felt right at home.

As a former colony of France, I saw plenty of French colonial architecture in different parts of Phnom Penh. Some of the buildings were restored or turned into restaurants or cafes, and others were left in disrepair. I like old buildings, there's just something about them.

As a Buddhist country, there were plenty of wats and temples in every corner of Phnom Penh.

Buddhism plays a huge role in the life of Cambodians.

Sisowath Quay
Sisowath Quay had a lot of shops, hotels, travel agencies, and restaurants.

Wat Phnom is one of the oldest temples in Phnom Penh. It was built in the 1300s and stands 27 meters high. There were plenty of locals and tourists visiting this temple throughout the day. It's not as impressive as Angkor Wat though, but quite impressive nonetheless.

Despite the developments in and around Phnom Penh, you can't just ignore the poverty and lack of infrastructure once you leave the city's center. There were plenty of unpaved roads just at the city's borders. I liked Phnom Penh despite the poverty because of the rich heritage seen in various parts of the city. There were old colonial buildings and grand structures that were vestiges of a great past.

Cheap Eats

Every time I travel to another country I try to find the good value meals (not necessarily the cheapest); to get a taste of what everyday Cambodians eat. I managed to find a handful of eateries where I was the only foreigner. I skipped some of the restaurants close to the tourist area to find good value Cambodian meals for only $1! I found these eateries just around the corner of the hostels I stayed in.

I couldn't help but purchase C2 while I was in Phnom Penh; it reminded me of home.

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