I arrived in Cambodia in Phnom Penh airport at around 5pm. I was luckily one of the first off the plane so therefore got through security quite quickly. I had got an E visa prior to going, which was really easy, however I think it’s pretty simple getting a visa on arrival too.
Once I’d got my luggage I went outside and got a tuk tuk to take me to my hostel, this cost me 9 dollars, which is the going rate from the airport to the area near the river where lots of hostels are. Owen, my boyfriend was waiting for me in our hostel, blues hostel on street 19. It had opened only 4 days before I arrived, however was really nice. The staff there were really helpful and eager to hear our feedback, so they can make improvements on the place.
The room was definitely no frills but was clean and the bed was comfortable with an ensuite private bathroom with a powerful shower, so to be honest we didn’t really need much more.
Had my first Cambodia beer- then beat Owen at pool (well on the first game but that’s the one I’m counting!)
On my first full day we went to what seems to be the main attraction in Phnom Penh, the killing fields. Before coming to Cambodia I was completely unaware of the tragic history of the country. In the 1970s there was a mass genocide under the ruling of Pol Pot, where over 2 million Cambodians died. I would not say the experience was enjoyable, though definitely educational and incredibly sad.
Entrance to the killing fields cost 6 dollars and you were given an audio guide which had different points you had to listen to at different locations. Although it was incredibly sad- i was would say this is definitely a must when coming to Phnom Penh.
After that our tuk tuk driver took us to the genocide museum, which was a prison where people who were viewed as enemies of the state were tortured and kept before being brought to the killing fields. Again this was an emotional place to visit. Entrance was 3 dollars without audio guide or 6 dollars with the audio guide. I would definitely spend the extra 3 dollars, otherwise I would not have known what I was looking at!
On the evening we went to the night market- I love markets so was really excited about going to one. However, I think I have been ruined by going to the weekend (chatuchak) market in Bangkok- this one did not compare unfortunately. I didn’t buy a thing- tho Owen picked up a pair of sunglasses and a watch so wasn’t a wasted trip. Got to see some street food too- but a little weary of eating it here!
The following morning didn’t actually get out of bed till 11- enjoying laying in, compared to getting up at 6 for work! We went for breakfast and then went for a wander to see the palace.
Overall I think Phnom Penh is worth a visit but to be honest after 48 hours I’m ready to leave and go see something else.
We’re getting the sleeper bus to Siem Reap tonight so will keep you posted on my travels when I get there!