Although it’s much cheaper, easier and quicker to hire a motodop for ($1-$2/ride), it can be worthwhile to stroll the city on foot. Phnom Penh has a hidden style, interesting neighborhoods and disarming life stashed away in its streets. You’ll find yourself stumbling upon some surprising gems when you take to the pavement.
When you’re backpacking solo, it’s easy to let your feminine wiles go to pot. I’ve given in to regimen of cold water baths (due to a lack of hot water), hoisted my pants up over my ankles for squat toilets, doused myself in a citron perfume of mosquito repellent and I’ve often dug the dirt out from under my nails with anything, well,… pointed.
Marketplaces can be interesting places to explore. I’m talking of the markets, that locals go to for grocery shopping, commonplace items, food and the daily jaunt. Not the ones tourists go for souvenirs.
A marketplace can have layers. It can hold secret clues to a culture’s sensibilities and household heart.
Sometimes as a solo traveler, I resent having to make decisions for myself.
With endless options of things to do and places to see, there’s no one to bounce your ideas off of and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with having to choose. Take day trips, for instance.
Cambodia has a very solemn and tragic side to it’s lovely Khmer face. The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (aka Security Prison 21 or S21) was the notorious genocide camp from 1975-1979, where prisoners (mostly innocent victims) of the Khmer Rouge were interrogated, tortured and killed.
With budget hotels in Southeast Asia, you never know what to expect.
Sometimes, you stumble upon a princely palace that’s cute, charming and cheap, all in one. Other times, a first impression doesn’t always do a place or place justice and you can’t always tell a bargain when you see it.
Street wise. Been-there and done-that. Old hat.
After traveling in Asia over the course of a year, there were two things I felt I had become proficient at: haggling and avoiding scams.
By the time I got to Cambodia, after having visiting much of Southeast Asia, I found there really wasn’t many Fear Factor Foods I haven’t seen.
‘Same Same’… but not too different.
In fact, the prize Fear Factor foods of Khmer folk seemed to share its neighbors’ palettes.
Here’s a few interesting foods as well as, a couple of players I haven’t yet seen…