Archive for Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh / Cambodia

Posted in Latest of Asienreisender, Places with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2014 by Thim Kwai

Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, was once considered as the ‘Pearl of Asia’, a small Paris in Southeast Asia, due to the efforts of the French colonialists to make the place a representative center for it’s administration. Before it was merely a wooden village at the swampy banks of the Tonle Sap River. Sadly, the former elegance of the city has faded away with it’s cruelsome history in the 20th century and the reconstruction since the 1980s in a cheap, ugly, postmodern manner. Nevertheless, when visiting Phnom Penh one can experience some reminiscences of the old times. For many visitors the megacity is nowadays attractive also as the business center of Cambodia and alluring for it’s notorious nightlife.

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Phnom Penh / Cambodia

Posted in Latest of Asienreisender, Places with tags , , , on June 9, 2013 by Thim Kwai

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.

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Check the list of recently published articles on a great variety of Southeast Asian themes. All of them are richly illustrated: Asienreisender