View of Phnom Penh from my apartment

View of Phnom Penh from my apartment

This is a brief list of observations from my first five full days in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I plan on spending two weeks here before heading to Saigon and then suburban Kuala Lumpur for another housesit.

  1. Lots of good coffee shops
    The biggest and most pleasant surprise upon arriving in Phnom Penh was the ubiquity of high quality coffee shops. There are dozens of places near my Airbnb apartment that serve good coffee and have attractive interior spaces. Brown Coffee, which has 10 locations in Phnom Penh, is my favorite spot so far.
  2. Inside a local cafe Wings Coffee

    Inside a local cafe Wings Coffee

  3. Danger of theft
    Bag thieves are apparently quite common here. It is good to keep an eye on your belongings while in tuk-tuks as thieves often operate on motorbikes.
  4. Congested traffic
    There seems to be a lack of traffic lights at some busy intersections, which leads to clogged roads. I try to avoid driving during rush hour.
  5. Polluted air
    Like Bangkok and Hanoi, the air is quite polluted. This makes riding around the city on my motorbike less enjoyable.
  6. The city that always sweats
    It is supposed to be the tail end of the extremely hot part of the year, but the picture below gives you an idea about the sizzling heat.
  7. Dog days of summer

    Dog days of summer

  8. Many people come from villages
    The city has expanded rapidly in recent years with a large influx of Khmer people from surrounding rural areas.
  9. Lots of corruption
    I haven’t seen any corruption first hand, but I have heard that Cambodia is highly corrupt with regards to the government and doing business in the country.
  10. Hummer next to trash

    Hummer next to trash

  11. Expensive cars
    One outward sign of the corruption here (I assume?) is the abundance of luxury cars on the streets. Although the vast majority of Cambodians are poor, high-end vehicles such as Lexuses, Range Rovers, and Porches are surprisingly common.