20 April 2003 - Phnom Penh
You should try the nasi lemak in Phnom Penh

After the highs of Angkor, the capital city of Phnom Penh was a let-down. I chose to travel by boat from Siem Reap, which was an event in itself. I had to change boats three times, and spent the last two hours baking on the roof (it was either that or to roast inside the tin can). I had the foresight to cover myself liberally with suntan lotion, but forgot that the inside of my knees burnt just as easily as an other part of me. Currently, I have very tender knees. Really.

Phnom Penh must be the most dismal capital city that I have ever been to. It doesn't look like the pride and joy of the country, and it pales significantly when compared to the Khmer empires of the past. Perhaps it had a lot to do with the part of town I was in, but it all looked pretty same.

I didn't feel so good, so I wasn't too adventurous with food when I was there. In fact, I stopped by a mamak shop for some nasi lemak. And it's pretty darned good, I've got to say. It's run by a true-to-life mamak who has now settled down in Cambodia. If you really want to know, it's Mamak's Corner, No. 17, St 114 Sangkat Phsar Thmei I, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh. He seems a nice guy, and appreciates a chat, I think.

The Russian Market is also pretty cool, although all the illegal stuff alluded to in adventurous travellers tales are now gone, and you have to look a little hard to find the marijuana and the AK-47s.

They do have a firing range, though, in Phnom Penh, where you can fire just about anything - machine guns, hand guns, whatever. You can throw a grenade for USD20. USD20 for the chance to blow my arm off? Maybe later, ok?


posted on Wednesday, April 23, 2003 - permalink
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