You drive me crazy
Trip Start May 01, 2012
48Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
The next morning, I went and did the touristy things – Royal Palace, National Museum, Central market and half the riverside walk. I had a few snacks and sugar cane drinks at the Central market but the rest of the attractions were a bit boring. I did get a shoe thrown at me though, by a crazy lady who was randomly throwing shoes at people and motorbikes in the street. No one did anything as she was doing this, and everyone just stood around and watched, probably because they thought it was really funny even though one guy on a motorbike almost had an accident trying to avoid her shoes
I rested in the hotel for a few hours before heading back out around 5pm. By that time it was a little bit cooler and more pleasant to walk around. The hotel is opposite a large park and every evening you see Cambodians exercising in the park. They also have dance classes (for exercise) where they play loud music and everyone lines up and copies the moves of the lead dancer. I watched this for a while as it was pretty funny (like a flashmob) and then proceeded to walk the rest of the riverside.
I went to the Phnom Penh Night markets, had some more sugar cane juice, some more snacks and then went to a nice dessert place where I had the best Durian ice cream I’ve ever tasted. I also had some Cambodian spring rolls (which were tasty) as well as a watermelon shake. On the way back to the hotel I stopped to watch the Cambodian version of the Vegas water show that had started in the park opposite my hotel.
Generally when I travel around Asia, I don’t get hassled that much by touts – even in the Philippines and Thailand, I blended in pretty well
Despite all this, Cambodia’s a very beautiful and fascinating place – a mix of French, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian and Chinese cultures makes for some interesting people and food. Incidentally, they do not use their own currency (Riel) for anything except small transactions and instead use US dollars. For example, if you buy something tha tis US$1.50 and you give them US$2, they will give you 2000 Riel change. Generally, US$1 = 4000 Riel but to make things more confusing, different shops have different rates - from 3800 to 4200.
Phnom Penh is pretty hectic, but not to the point where it isn’t enjoyable and overcrowded like in larger cities. However, crossing the road though is still as dangerous as other Asian cities, though I have now mastered the art – just cross slowly as soon as there is a small gap, no sudden movements, and all will be well. Cars will stop for you and like Moses parting the Red Sea, motorbikes will miraculously move around you.
Anyways, for those thinking of doing a round the world trip, Qantas currently have a 15% off sale for the fare that I bought. If I had delayed by a few weeks, I could of saved over $600! They very rarely have sales on these fares so now’s the time to do it! The sale ends on May 31st.