#20 Getting out of the city

I guess every trip is different, and everybody has their own holiday preferences depending on expectations and experiences, but for me I couldn’t wait to get out of Phnom Penh. It just wasn’t congruent with what this trip has been about. It’s fast-paced, in your face, hello mister tuk tuk? Moto? Cars and traffic, backpackers acting like they want to reek havoc. It just wasn’t my scene. As I said in a reply to one of Jenny’s comments, my “destination” in this trip has been the ride from town to town. That’s been the best part. My “journey” is what I’ve had to endure after I’ve parked my bike at the end of each day. And this was compounded in Cambodia’s capital. I was so used to being kind, and accepting the kindness of strangers that I wasn’t prepared for the in your face, manipulate as much as you can attitude of the country’s biggest city. It was full-on. And I didn’t like it.

I spent Christmas morning visiting the Pol Pot genocide museum, and then uploaded camera photos on the hostel computer which, by the way, can be seen by clicking on the Flickr stream to the left of this post (photos are not labeled but those that are followings progress should be able to guess where they were all taken, chronological order helps, any questions let me know). I then cycled out of the city. Tonight I’m in a satellite town, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, feeling more myself. As you leave the city people increasingly say hello as you pass by, children start giggling at the site of a foreigner cycling past on a bike, and you experience genuine warmth and hospitality.

I’m at a lovely guesthouse, the Morehaheng which doesn’t appear on any Google search you may do, but is located here, if interested

And I’ve just had a lovely ‘Christmas dinner’ at the restaurant across the road. A do-it-yourself BBQ. Beef steak strips, liver, heart(!), squid, and prawns (which helped me feel at home). And beer on tap which despite being basically sober since Siem Reap, I partook in. Beautiful food, and friendly owners.

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5 thoughts on “#20 Getting out of the city”

  1. Simon, it’s easy to see why you just love to be back on that bike and meeting the people who make you smile!! There is something about all big, noisy, crowded cities which makes us question our values. Beautiful pics all along the way, but boy! the Pol Pot museum shows human cruelty at its worst. Enjoy another great day meeting more wonderful people!

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  2. From Graeme; Dear Simon….tests have been seriously good. Missed you this Boxing Day. This one in the the balance for the first day at 5 for. Smith, surprisingly to me, seems to have taken on the role with considerable ease and calm. Debutante, Jo Burns got an under edge for 13, but looks alright. Would be great if you could get a radio coverage while riding, but it’s not a perfect world. Take care….Graeme

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  3. Glad you got out of the big dirty city and back where you belong 🙂 It must be difficult being a friendly, kind & trusting person like yourself & be around people looking to manipulate travelers. A quick google search shows there’s a heck of a lot of that going on in the SE Asian capital cities. I’m glad you’ve left, and glad you’re going to be back on your bike for another mammoth day of cycling very soon 🙂
    Miss you xxx

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  4. Simon…I’m so pleased you got out of the city and found a lovely place to be for the rest of Christmas Day. A Christmas lunch you will not forget..and a well earned beer! A big day of cycling today. I’ll be thinking of you. Take care and lovely to see that photo of you in the restaurant!

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