Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, was a very brief stop on our tour of Southeast Asia. It was really just a layover point for us while traveling from Siem Reap in the north to Kampot in the south. Phnom Penh contains many of the same things we have seen in other Southeast Asian cities…temples, night markets, and museums. Once again we need a break from all of that. We used our two days to walk the streets of this city…what a great place for people watching. The four of us also visited the Killing Fields and learned about Pol Pot.
Here are some of my photos as we walked along the streets around our hotel. The streets were crowded and congested, but the people are so friendly and have a great sense of humor here. And like I said earlier…this is a great place for people watching.
The Streets of Phnom Penh
This is 13th street in Phnom Penh, not far from the Royal Palace and our hotel, The Artist Guesthouse.
Motorbikes in Phnom Penh
Most of the people here get around by motorbike. Motorbikes are cheap and fuel efficient. For much of the year it rarely rains and it is always warm, further eliminating the need for a car.
We saw motorbikes going down the road with four and five people on them. It is not unusual to see a man and woman on a motorbike with a toddler sandwiched in between them. We have also seen ten year old boys riding solo on motorbikes, their backpack on their backs, traveling to or from school. Almost no one here wears helmets. They should because crossing the intersections are insane!
Our favorite mode of transportation here is the tuk tuk. In Phnom Penh we could hire a tuk tuk driver for the day for only $15. It’s hard to beat that!
People on the Streets
The Funny Things You See
This was another common sight, a cart filled with some sort of produce, maybe lemongrass, again I am not really sure. This is being pulled by a man driving a scooter.
How many monks can you fit in a tuk-tuk?
King of Cambodia
Cambodia is a constitutional monarchy, with the King as the head of the state and the Prime Minister the head of the government. The current Prime Minister, Hun Sen, is a former Khmer Rouge member and one of the longest serving Prime Ministers in the world.
The Local Market
We toured a local market, one of our favorite people watching activities. This is the place to go to purchase unrefrigerated meat and eggs, freshly beheaded fish, and so much more.
It is fascinating watching women cut up this meat and set it out in the hot sun, waiting for someone to buy it. The heat, the flies, the continuous traffic of people walking by these food stands…there’s no way I could ever imagine shopping here.
It was eye opening (especially for Kara) to see that this is how some people live and buy their food everyday. Kara just became a lot more appreciative for the things that we have at home.
And finally, one of Phnom Penh’s many pharmacies.
This concludes our photo tour of the streets of Phnom Penh. From here, we travel south to Kampot and then on to Vietnam.
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