Ankhou Graphic Design

Web development, graphic design, and photography by Ian Houghton, based in Revelstoke, BC.

SE Asia: Phnom Penh

2 Comments | posted 14/05/10

It’s been a hectic few weeks with uni and work, but I’ve finally found the time to put up some more photos. These ones are from our trip to Phnom Penh in Cambodia. We flew in from Bangkok after coming back from Pai in the North, so the immediate poverty we saw after landing was quite a shock. The Cambodians can be quite friendly, but they’re also very keen to sell you stuff. I’m glad we made the trip though, and although it wouldn’t be my first choice in the region, I’d like to go back someday.

Clouds on the flight into Cambodia

Clouds on the flight from Bangkok to Phnom Penh

Our first Tuktuk ride in South East Asia!

I can’t believe it took us until Cambodia to ride a Tuktuk

Speaking of Tuktuks, we had a bit of a mishap with a driver while in Phnom Penh. We hired him to take us from the river to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum on our first full day in the city. After looking around, we made a deal with him to drive us to and from the killing fields at Choeung Ek to see the stupa memorial and pay our respects. We arranged to meet him at 9am the following morning, but after a restless night from the noisy bar next to our bedroom, we arrived at the meeting spot ten minutes late. We waited for a good half-an-hour, but either he never showed up, or got fed up with waiting and left before we arrived. Roy, I’m sorry, and I hope you found some more lucrative customers!

V with my self-percolating coffee

A beautiful girl and a self-percolating coffee – what more could a man want?

This fantastic little device was a coffee with a personal percolator, and it was absolutely delicious. As a matter of fact, the coffee I had in Phnom Penh was probably the best coffee I had anywhere in SE Asia.

Monkey playing with a hose

I dare you not to giggle

We went to look at Wat Phnom on our first full day in the city. It’s situated in a lovely grassy square, surrounded by tall trees, locals in their pyjamas, and swarms of monkeys.

Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom in all its glory, along with a giant clock

More monkeys

More monkeys

They were quite cheeky, but the locals behaved rather badly towards them. We saw them throwing rubbish at the monkeys and poking them with sticks.

'Donation' flowers at Wat Phnom

‘Donation’ flowers at Wat Phnom

A small shrine inside Wat Phnom

A small shrine inside Wat Phnom

A daring monkey on a rubbish bin

A daring young monkey

This guy made the mistake of hopping onto the edge of an empty bin. It toppled over slowly, and startled him and his family. No delicious rubbish to be found unfortunately.

Family of monkeys

Happy families

Baby monkey

Adorable baby monkey

Farmer watering plants at the water's edge

I think this guy was practicing agriculture next to the river

Angkor beer reflected in V's Ray Bans

First taste of delicious Angkor beer – nice fresh lager

Billboard for Miller in Phnom Penh


Scooter traffic in Phnom Penh

Scooter traffic in Phnom Penh – it got much worse

Mosque in Phnom Penh's backpacker district

Mosque in Phnom Penh’s backpacker district

Sunset over the lake in Phnom Penh's backpacker district

Beautiful sunset over the lake

The lake in question is situated in Phnom Penh’s backpacker district, North of the CBD. It was described by Lonely Planet as being quite large, but when we arrived the process of filling it in in order to build luxury hotels had been going on for a number of months. There was still just enough left for a decent view, and to breed a billion mosquitoes.

Guesthouse on the lake

Guesthouse on the water’s edge

We moved to this guesthouse on our second night. It looks idyllic, but don’t be fooled; it turns into an incredibly loud party venue every night, playing music until 3am. On top of this, it’s actually built on a dock. The whole structure slowly sways and makes you seasick if you’re not careful. Oh, and V had a close encounter with bedbugs.

Cambodian National Museum's courtyard

The courtyard of the Cambodian National Museum

The Cambodian National Museum contained quite a lot of interesting artefacts, if you’re into that kind of thing, but apparently a lot of them are illegally taken from excavations. Besides, Angkor Wat is much more impressive. Only really worth it to relax in the courtyard, which is lovely, or admire the architecture of the building itself.

Buddha in a window frame in the Cambodian National Museum

Buddha figurine framed in a window

Panorama of the square on the river side of the Royal Palace

Panorama of the square on the river side of the Royal Palace

Square on the river side of Phnom Penh's Royal Palace

The square had a long display of flags from many different nationalities

Flags next to the river

A better shot of the flags

Metalwork at the Royal Palace

Metalwork on a gate at the Royal Palace

Architecture at the Royal Palace

Architecture at the Royal Palace

V on the guesthouse bridge at sunset

V on the guesthouse bridge at sunset

Jug of Anchor beer against the sunset

Anchor beer – don’t be fooled, it’s not nearly as good as Angkor beer

Sunset over the lake

Sunset from the deck of the guesthouse

Sunset over the lake

Sunset from the deck of the guesthouse

Sunset over the lake

Sunset from the deck of the guesthouse

Deep-fried insects at a Cambodian bus stop

Deep-fried insects and arachnids at a Cambodian bus stop

We’d already had a taste (not a literal taste) of deep-fried crickets on Khaosan Road, but at the Cambodian bus stops they went the whole way. Strangely enough, I didn’t see anyone buying or eating them, not even the locals.

Deep-fried cockroaches

Deep-fried cockroaches – I wasn’t tempted to try them

Deep-fried tarantulas

Deep-fried tarantulas

And with those delicious images, I bid you adieu until I get the time to put up more photos. Enjoy!

More photos

2 responses to “SE Asia: Phnom Penh”

  1. nice photos! what lovely sunsets. and lol at the monkey, he’s sure got good reach!

  2. Thanks! Yeah, he was playing with a sprinkler hose, it kept him occupied for hours.

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