When we first arrived in Phnom Penh, we quickly got our visas and made our way outside to be greeted by the infamous weather of “Rainy Season” in Cambodia. (It’s actually pouring as I write this.) We jumped aboard a tuk-tuk, which is a motorbike with an attached two-wheel, covered, passenger trailer, and made our way to our guest house. Our driver, Nang, who I thought was “Lang” for the entire time I was there, would drive us all around the city before we headed north to Siam Reap and Angkor Wat. And so we were introduced to Phnom Penh in a way that was very welcoming. Nang told us some of the ins and outs (though I already knew a bit based on some pre-reading I got done) and helped us along where we needed it. The thing about tuk-tuk drivers: they are willing to help. You might find one who doesn’t know English, but he’ll call all of his English-speaking friends so he can get you the answer. In many cases this is because the tuk-tuk driver needs the dough; but in other cases, it’s just an acknowledged respect and kindness. There are a lot of things about Cambodian culture that I want to talk about, but I will keep them for post-tourist posts. Regardless, our time in Cambodia would be extremely positive, and a welcome beginning to where I am now: living in the southern end of town.
Coconuts are often delivered by handcarts.
A Theravada monk seeking alms (food or money). Though monks often carry hand-umbrellas to protect against the sun, not many non-monks do.
One driver and many tires.
When a tuk-tuk needs a break, or needs to get their bike repaired, they often release the carriage, as depicted above, and up it goes!
Phnom Penh is a mix of traffic rules, no rules, and traffic rules disobeyed. It’s an exciting place to develop your wits!
I actually live near this canal, now.
Above: the view from the guest house. Below: many motos and many ponchos. And the classic symbol of wealth: Lexus.
Above: find a seat and it’s a seat. Below, an out-of-focus football-playing boy rescues his ball in the flooded street.
Angkor Beer’s main facilities:
Oxen on the outskirts of town: