We left Otres Beach with the rain still falling. We got about an hour up the road and the sun came out. Our trip back was rather painless and we stayed in the same guest house we did the first time around. The only thing we hadn’t really covered in Phnom Penh was the markets so headed south to what is called the Russian market, so named because of all the Russian ex pats that used to shop there in the 80’s.
We were dropped off in more of the local section where everything practically to do with hardware was being sold. We walked further in and found all the souvenirs and clothes for the tourists. Although we didn’t buy anything the products were really rather well done with some beautifully carved woodwork on display. What we had really gone there for was the food market and after getting lost for a good 10 minutes inside we finally came to some stalls selling traditional Cambodian food. Our first course wasn’t much chop as what we thought was going to be hot rice puddings and spring rolls were actually cold. But we really lucked out for our second course of chicken noodle soup. So tasty and fresh!
Our next stop was an area called Bassac Lane where a series of funky little bars have popped up on either side of the tiny lane giving the whole block a really hipster vibe. Although we were very early we enjoyed a few drinks sitting back and watching the action on the street. Although the bars didn’t have a very Cambodian flavour and would have not been out of place in any capital city, along with the hipster bar owners and their slicked back hair, beards, 3/4 chinos with shoes and no socks. The local kids who lived in tiny neighbouring houses kept it a little ethnic.
From here we were going to get a tuk tuk back home but decided to take a little stroll and enjoy the early evening breeze. We stumbled across a massive boulevard with hundreds of locals doing their daily walking exercise up and down the street. There were groups of people doing crazy aerobics routines to loud music and groups of people playing football. Lining the streets were food vendors selling all kinds of tasty treats. It was such a pleasant walk that we made it all the way home and back down the river before we even knew how far we had walked.
Our experience of Phnom Pen was a much more pleasurable one than that of last time. We didn’t not enjoy it the first time around its just we didn’t really find it that much to write home about. But I can honestly say that our second visit changed our views of the city and although not one of our favourite Asian cities it’s certainly not a bad one. S
The big thing for tourists to do here is fire guns…not our cup of tea but I am sure plenty would be excited. Rumour has it that you can pay extra to blow up a cow!
The Russian Market…one of the more authentic rows.
These caught our eyes as we passed them and looked delicious!
Noodle soup in the market was one of the best dishes we have had in Cambodia.
Foetus eggs, in case you were wondering.
One of the local parks where the ladies were working out and the young guys were playing football.