Phnom Penh / Cambodia

Jakarta, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Vientiane, Phnom Penh – they all have what in common. They are capitals and they are busy. Very busy. Traffic and pollution are enormous, living quality for the masses is poor. Therefore the prices are double as high compared to the countries provinces.

Phnom Penh’s first given impression is that the majority of the population consists of drivers and touts. You have not left the bus yet and there will be a group of tuk-tuk drivers waiting for you, just YOU, to go with them. From now on at every step, at every corner there will be lots of drivers asking you to go with them.

They are followed by the touts who want to sell other things of all kind, from food and accommodation to clothes, jewels and other luxuries. The only way to escape them is to lock up oneself in the hotel room.

Discovering a place is always be best done by walking. One can naturally stop and go and have a closer look whenever one wants. That’s not given in a big city as Phnom Penh is. Moving spontaneously on the roads means getting hit by rolling tin for sure. One also does not just cross a road. It’s a big thing to do so, the tin flood never stops on Phnom Penh’s roads.

By the way, the traffic clearly consists of less cars and more motorbikes here than in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Jakarta. That’s remarkable and the air pollution is far not that bad than in these other cities. That’s because Cambodia is a few years behind the other countries in it’s development. With it’s further progressing there will be more cars here as well. Many more cars.

As in all the Southeast Asian places there are barely usable sidewalks. What in western countries is a sidewalk, meaned for pedestrians to walk on, is here merely a multi-purpose stripe. Mostly abused for parking vehicles it’s also a place where food vendors are placed, workshops are expanded or masses of litter are piled up. Everything is on the move, it’s like in an ant heap. So, constantly circumnavigating obstacles is not only tiring but takes also most of the energy and awareness for what one has actually in mind. That is, in my case, to look around for the other street live and the peculiarities of the city.

This ist just a part of the article on Phnom Penh. Click the link to read all about Phnom Penh.

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