Phnom Penh, Cambodia
11° 33' N 104° 54' E
Jan 10, 2008 06:25
Distance 234km

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Text written in: English

Second Time Around

Well.. I have to say my initial impression of Phnom Penh was way off.  It's much nicer this time around.

I had asked the guest house in Siem Reap where was good to stay in Phnom Penh and they recommended somewhere called 'Okay Guest House'.  I looked it up on line and the reviews were good.  As luck would have it when Dean and I got off the bus there were two guys for Okay Guest House waiting to take guests back.  They have a deal here where they'll give you a lift for free if you decide to stay there.. if not then you pay $1.  I arrived at the guest house and wasn't too enamoured with the area it was in but gave it a go anyway.  The place was filthy and felt very unsafe.  Many places in S.E Asia won't allow 'taxi girls' as they're called here, back at the guest house.. but this place acutally had signs on the wall telling you what to do when you bring one back to the room!  I was disgusted and couldn't shake the horrible image from my head so paid my $1 and went for my fall-back option i'd found.  It was more than triple the price but well worth it as it's in a great area, lovely relaxed travelers and it's clean! 

The afternoon I arrived, I relaxed in the rooftop lounge of the guest house getting to know the other people staying there over a few beers.  

On my third day I met two Australian girls called Steph and Kim.  We, along with others from the guest house, decided to head out that night to a party that was being thrown over the road in celebration of a bar's 2nd birthday.  We made the short distance over to the bar and began to enjoy the $1 tiger beers.  After what seemed like a fairly chilled out place most of the girls headed back to the guest house and just as Sabina and i were about to go the place all of a sudden errupted in funky dance music and old school songs.  We ended up having a wicked night dancing away.. even the drag queens were keen to show us their moves.  It was all going great until one of them offered their services to me that night!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What the hell!!!!!!! I was so shocked.  This isn't a common occurance for girls.. or so I thought.  You have to be extremely careful here though.. and sometimes even talking to them can imply you're looking for something and you'll get a bill slapped in front of you.  Thankfully that didn't happen and shortly after that I made a run for it back to the guest house.

The guest house is run by a Cambodian couple who have a young girl.  She's around the guest house a lot, which wouldn't normally bother the guests but she has a nasty habit of stabbing you with pens and spitting both on you and in your face.  Charming!  She also has a worrying habit of pulling tissues out of the box in the main table and rolling them into something resembling a joint and pretends to smoke it!  She's only 6!

There is THE most adorable dog at the guest house.  He's just a puppy at 4 months old but has muscular dystrophy (or that's what his owner said).  The poor wee blighter finds it hard to drink his water or eat anything as he can't stop bounding about.  He's only still when he's sleeping.  He gives all the guests the nicest welcome when they come home.. I just wanted to pack him in my bag and bring him back to Scotland.

On my last day I joined Steph and Kim for a drink in a lovely bar called Elsewhere.. not far from the guest house.  It had lots of hidden loungers in the trees with electrical fans hanging from them and a pool to cool down in!  Awesome wee place.

I'm off to Vietnam tomorrow and i'm very much looking forward to it!!!  Have no idea what the kids are going to have in store for me!

Photos / videos of "Second Time Around ":

Slightly fuzzy picture of spiders (I was sneekily taking a quick pic as they charge you $1!!) YUM YUM! Grasshoppers anyone? Crunchy. The streets of Phnom Penh Walking past a stall when this little clam opened it mooth.. twas still alive I tell you! The men love their draughts (this is the first time it'd seen them with real pieces.. it's usually beer bottle tops) Phnom Penh Motos! THE cutest dog.. Bati Top Banana Guest House View of Equinox Bar from the Guest House View from Top Banana Phnom Penh Phnom Penh Sabina, Sarah & Elizabeth Face like a slapped arse & Kim Again.. and just to clarify.. my suncream didn't work! One of the guys from Top Banana Sabina and one of the drag queens Me and the eh.. drag queen The loved the camera.. s/he asked me to take this! Ok.. the bloke on the left really creeped me out.. he kept pulling that face Sabina & the drags Again Me and the drags Scary faces All of us What the hell? Shooters Phnom Penh Equinox Bar Bati.. probably chewing something Elsewhere Bar The lush pool at Elsewhere Bar Tree at Elsewhere