Phnom Penh

Our guidebook is probably out of date. It was picked up off the street in Saigon, so that's probably quite likely. It said there were no ATM's in Phnom Penh, but there are a handful around. It said the price of a bus ticket to Siem Reap (the closest town to Angkor) was $4, but we found them to be $9. I've loosened up on the cost of things. It's a lot easier to not haggle for a dollar or two here and there. I'm not a poor student anymore.

I've found Phnom Penh to be good and bad. There are sections that are full of grand Khmer architecture and greenery. But these are the museums and royal palace, most people live in the rest of the city, which I'm guessing is nothing special and quite dirty. I suppose that once you factor in that the Khmer Rouge was here 40 years ago, it's not so bad. Outside the capital, however, there's nothing but shacks and the occasional dirty town with trash in the streets.

And yet, I like this more than Vietnam. There's more color and culture to it, and the section of the city we're staying in is full of good stuff and great food.

The sculpture in the National Museum was fascinating. Styles of Buddhist art that I had never seen before -- my Buddhist art class certainly never hinted at some of the things I've seen here.


We travel to Siem Reap tomorrow for temples upon temples.

1 comment:

KitchenGirl said...

Not sure if Laos is in the cards, but the NYTimes has an article on it this week:

http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/05/18/travel/18hours-1.html?ref=travel