Cambodia : Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia and I was a bit nervous about visiting a capital as I prefer the country, however this was a pleasant surprise and I loved it!

We arrived after a very long bus journey from Siem Reap (7 hours in total!). We stayed at the G Eleven hotel which was in a great location, with spacious rooms and a swimming pool.

We met the group for dinner and first went for a drink together before going for dinner. Again I was not a fan of this dinner. The restaurant was full of tourists and the food wasn’t great, by this point me and the girls were starting to get fed up with being treated like we were children and being escorted everywhere, and also being taken to restaurants where it felt like we were on a cruise ship! After dinner we managed to escape the group and went for a short wander before heading to bed.

The next morning we met for the trip to the killing fields and Tuol Sleng genocide museum. Again we had a guide provided, and we were meant to be taken around the prison and killing fields by a guide. I did not want to and nor did my friend, we both felt we wanted to visit at our own pace and asked to have one of the headsets provided. Our G Adventures guide was not very happy about this, however in the end we were allowed to do so.

Both were very moving and I believe it is something everyone should visit when visiting Cambodia. I won’t write much about this morning as the whole visit was very distressing and emotional. However, I am glad I opted to have a headset for both as I learnt a lot and also listened to personal stories which I found interesting.

(If on this G Adventures tour, do not pay $20 for the tour, go on your own and take a tuk tuk to the 2 locations, it is only $6 entry and you can do at your own pace, I wish I had known this myself, and believe G Adventures over charged and wish they recommended we did it on our own)

We spent the afternoon chilling in the sunshine by the pool, which was very much needed.

We went to dinner early and visited Wat Phnom Hill, which is the only hill in the city, and legend says it was first discovered by a lady named Penh. The local people come here to pray for good luck and success with exams etc. We then visited the night market before going for dinner. Myself and the girls opted to not go with the group as we were fed up of over priced cruise ship dinners, instead we went to a street food restaurant, where the menu was only in Cambodia and there were only locals eating. We all enjoyed some noodles and then headed to another place for dessert. This was one of my favorite evenings of the whole Cambodia trip. We all loved embracing the local way of life, and eating authentic Cambodian food. This evening we did not feel like we were on a ‘tour’ and we all went to bed feeling super happy!

The next morning we took the bus to Sihanoukville, post to follow!

– all views are my own