We will be in Phnom Penh for a few days early March 2005 and wondered if there was any thing we should not miss in this City - including special places to eat. We then move on to Siem Reap to see and experience Ankor Wat (really looking forward to that). So if you can help with some information for Siem reap also, it would be appreciated.
So, it's 10 months since we have been to Cambodia. For your information, we really enjoyed the Angkor temples - only a few K's from Siem Reap. This is a definite must see and I would retrurn again. Do a guided tour but be sure to go back on your own and take some time to wander these temples (Wat's) yourself.
Found Phnom Penh to be untidy - well it was in the area we were in! The Pol Pot era was devastating for the people and some very sad attractions are available like the 'killing fields'. It seems everyone was affected and lost some members of their family when he wanted to revert the country to 'Year Zero'. And, this was less than 30 years ago.
Our guides were very knowledgable and articulate on their history also, very opinionated on wanting to improve their country - very admirable. In general though, the Cambodians need to gain confidence in themselves and not to dwell on the glorious past (Angkor times).... the future is now, not tomorrow so go for it.
I look forward to returning.
Mario, I'll be going to Cambodia - Sr and PP this coming April, during their official New Year celebration! So, I might need your advise on this.
The Bopha Angkor in Siem Reap has good food. The Mondial, across the street/river and down a few blocks, has a good apsara dance, but the food (buffet) and the atmosphere are pretty touristy. It is good just to go see it. We had fun just wandering the streets of SR looking for CDs of traditional music. Met more local people that way.
We did the first day at Angkor by bicycle, which was free from our hotel. Pretty exhausting, but well worth it. We did a tuk tuk after that, which was just as fun (and got us out of the rain during a brief downpour), although it was $12/day, which still isn't all that bad. You do get the tuk tuk for the entire day.
There's also a show that benefits the children's hospital. You'll see signs for it on the highway out to Angkor. I think it's only on Saturday nights.