Arrival at Phnom Penh
We took the Giant Ibis coach from Siem Reap and arrived into Phnom Penh late afternoon. Our accommodation for the trip was iRoha Garden Hotel and Spa. After the relatively basic accommodation at Bunyong Homestay we were pleased to see a large swimming pool, restaurant, bar and AC in the large double room.
In the evening we ate at an awesome Mexican place, Taqueria Corona then headed to an area popular with expats, Bassac Lane which has lots of small trendy bars.
Toul Slang Museum and Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
Our first full day we met Pichenda Our guide for the day.
The two main locations in Phnom Penh are incredibly tough visits. The Tuol Sleng Museum(S21 Prison) and Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. Very emotional places full of dreadful stories about the worst of humanity. If you are in Phnom Penh Tuol Slang is worth visiting with a guide to hear the stories of the prisoners. I wouldn’t recommend the Killing Fields as the site isn’t as respectfully managed as it should be. Through erosion the pathways around the mass graves have exposed bones and clothing of the victims. However travelling with a guide will allow you to move through more respectfully. A raised walkway or better fencing could be a better option for the site.
Later that evening we headed to FCC bar for some drinks. This bar and hotel was important significance in the history of Cambodia as it’s where most of the journalists reports of the country would come from.
We had hoped to visit Friends, an ethical restaurant, which provides on the job training to disadvantaged of Cambodia but unfortunately the booking got messed up, maybe next time.
Mekong River Cruise
Our second full day we took the opportunity to relax in the hotel grounds and swim in the pool. Pretty much the first downtime since arriving in Cambodia.
In the evening we had booked a sunset cruise along the Mekong with tour company Phoceamekong. We had some problems finding it initially as we went to the “local” port with it’s many run down boats for hire at only $5, worth checking out if you are on a budget and can swim. The sunset cruise we took had unlimited drinks and BBQ so we made the most of that. After the cruise we ended our trip with a walk along the river to the Royal Palace and a Tuk Tuk back back to the hotel.
We spent two full days and 3 nights at Phnom Penh. I think we stayed a little too long, you’d get to see most of the city in 1 full day. The city itself isn’t that pleasurable to navigate due to the intense traffic, pollution, poorly lit pavements and security concerns at night. We were just thankful our hotel was a peaceful escape from the hectic city.
Tomorrow, another bus, this time to Otres beach, Sihanoukville.