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open mind, empty stomach

travel, food, and fun

The capital of Cambodia didn’t really seem like a capital city. It’s big, but short and sprawly rather than tall and imposing. Most of the buildings are just a couple stories or less and there are even rice paddies and dirt roads on the outskirts of town. PP is home to the National Museum and several palaces/temples. I didn’t go to any of them. For me, the (extremely tragic) history of the past few decades overshadows the more ancient sites and stories. My first full day in PP was “Genocide Thursday.” I toured S21 and the Killing Field and blogged about the experience. Seeing what had taken place here just 30 years ago gave an excellent perspective of why Cambodia is in the state it is in today. It helped me to be a lot more patient with the constant onslaught of tuktuk and motorbike drivers soliciting tourists. Fortunately for me, my friend Greg hooked me up with an incredible tuktuk driver named Mr. Polo and he took great care of me for my stay in PP. Greg has made two films in Cambodia, about Cambodia and provided me with suggestions and recommendations for making the most of my trip. I also got to visit an orphanage that my friend Kyle worked at for a year. I blogged about that visit as well. I had planned on going to Oudong, the capital of Cambodia before it moved to PP, and to take an all day Khmer cooking class, but I went out for drinks the night before each… On one of those nights, I went to some clubs with 3 guys that were staying at the same hostel. The clubs are very interesting to say the least. First, there are the straight up hostess bars. They are full of prostitutes/semi-prostitutes and some very sleazy, old foreign dudes. The other clubs are full of very attractive Cambodian prostitutes, sleazy, old foreign dudes and gay guys with some backpackers mixed in. Despite the seedy underbelly, PP does have character and charm. I had lots of really good food, met some quality people and don’t regret spending 5 nights there.

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