As a tourist and traveler, I find it occasionally frustrating to view the inner antics and life of city from a bus or tuk-tuk enroute to another destination. I may see something culturally peculiar or fascinating, but only get a fly-by record of it.
But before I can raise my camera, the event is gone… Before I can sniff the scent of it’s natural air, I’m inhaling exhaust.
I believe you need to be in the streets in order to truly get a better sense of a place or culture.
The streets are the veins, which make up the body of a city and a place can look very different, when you’re walking through it. The streets tell you that there’s a richer story to be told about its people and it’s more than just Angkor Wat landmarks, Tuol Sleng and Tonle Sap Lake floating villages ..
In my last post, I uncovered a lot of cool places that weren’t listed in my guidebook, simply because I decided to see the city by foot.
Here’s a few more things about Khmer folk you’re gonna love…
Things to Know before you Go to Phnom Penh
Local Street jobs
Cambodia can feel part modern and part street 1950s. There’s a large part of Khmer life and street jobs which feel a bit old school and antiquated. There’s still a handful of jobs and businesses which take place on the streets. While malls do exist, street culture is a big part of the Phnom Penh culture.
As you may have guessed, the majority of the population gets around by way of motorbikes, so much of the lifestyle revolves around motorbike culture. Only the wealthy own cars and ironically, SUV’s are the vehicles with seemingly the highest status in Phnom Penh.
But they’re not just any SUV; their names are emblazoned on the side of the doors to show their brand.
Street Food and Seeing your Food
If you’ve read my post on Fear Factor Foods in Cambodia, you’ll get an ample eyeful of things I’ve collected from walking the streets of Phnom Penh. It’s enough of a culture shock to make you question Cambodian food. Rest assured, Cambodia has many restaurants and foreigner-friendly food too. By why take pictures of that?
Medical Facilities & Services
Medical facilities in Phnom Penh seemed basic for locals walking in off the streets. From hospital care centers to dentists, if you don’t have to get sick in Phnom Penh, then I wouldn’t. Pharmacies are your best bet to catch your medical needs early on. I can’t promise anything after that.
They certainly aren’t as creative as the Vietnamese, with stackable items all perfectly balanced on a motorbike. Phnom Penhers are much more chilled out. Still, here’s a couple of interesting means of moving things around.
Fashion & Style
Leisure: Hanging out in Phnom Penh
Living spaces and apartments
Back << Photo Essay: A walking tour exploring Phnom Penh (Pt 1)