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.