We ended up in Phnom Penh mostly by accident. When we decided to leave Bali earlier than planned and head to Singapore, Abe also added Cambodia to our week. He booked a flight to Cambodia assuming Phnom Penh was the biggest airport and we’d be able to get to Siem Reap. I was too overwhelmed at the time to look into anything so Abe just booked it. A few days later I look up “Phnom Penh to Siem Reap” on google maps and it says 5 HOUR DRIVE. Haha not happening. So we booked a flight from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. A bit of a travel fail, but we’re alive and well.
We pretty much had one day here and saw a few things. We went to the Royal Palace which was one of the major things to do here. Our tour guide was somewhat interesting, but that is more Abe’s interest, he’s the history buff. I like a bit of facts here and there but mostly just let me do my own thing. We learned about the snakes everywhere on all the banisters and on the roofs of all the temples. We learned there are five different levels of greeting when you bow your head and put your hands in a prayer clasp in front of you. The highest is above your head thanking to God. The next highest right at the top of your head is to monks. Right in front of your face is to your elders or teachers. By your chin is to you friends and family, people that you meet. And below your face at your chest is saying thank you.
We stopped at the genocide museum (Abe will write more about this.. I didn’t want to listen to it that day. It’s never an easy thing to listen to heart heavy topics, but I do value the importance in knowing accurate history.. But I just couldn’t handle it on this day. We decided against going to the killing fields because apparently those are pretty graphic and Abe was having a hard time listening to the audio tour at the museum already.
I wouldn’t really recommend Phnom Penh, unless you’re a history buff going to learn about the genocide. Or maybe you just need to stay in a nicer place. Our hotel felt pretty gross. So gross I didn’t shower while we were there (2 nights) and wore the same clothes for 3 days (not kidding). Just riding out the cleanliness from showering at the Marina Bay Sands hotel for as long as I could.
TBH the highlight for me was probably going to a grocery store and finding skittles and teddy grahams and pop tarts. So that’s a good round of Phnom Penh. Photos below!
Thanks for reading!