Checking out of our hostel and checking in to the minivan that would pick us up right in front of our hostel. Easy as that on a Saturday. Normally a ride to Phnom Penh takes 6 hours, but our driver thought he was a reincarnation of Ayrton Senna, and the trip only took us 4.5 hours. Lunch break included. We didn’t do that though, since tourists seem to get another price tag than locals. A matter of principles.
We arrived in Phnom Penh early in the afternoon and soon it became clear to us that this must be a capital city. Everything’s at least 30% more expensive than in Siem Reap and the place is crowded, huge and dirty. We did plan a short stop though, because there’s remnant’s of ancient Cambodia to check out here. We first checked in in our hostel and afterwards we went out for a meal with a view on the Mekong river.
In the evening, we met up with Sanne, who was simultaneously stopping over in Phnom Penh during her trip through Laos and Cambodia. Sharing tapas in a social restaurant and sharing our travel adventures kept us engaged for the rest of the evening.
About Phnom Penh
I won’t be writing history here, but I recommend you google ‘Pol Pot’ and ‘Red Khmer’. The recent history of this country is truly disturbing. The Tuol Sleng prison and the killing fields near Phnom Penh are now a museum and memorial site that serve as a research and information centre.
It’s almost impossible to understand what happened here and yet, the world doesn’t seem to have learned from what’s happened here recently. Today exactly the same is happening, only in a different place.
In the afternoon we had some noodles. Quite fun to see how a cook prepared fresh noodles from a ball of dough. It was delicious!
In the evening we had another dinner date with Sanne and shared goodbye drinks while watching the finish of the world championship bicycle racing on our iPhones. Next Monday we’ll be heading towards Vietnam!