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Cambodia - Phnom Penh
Anyone been?


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10 replies to this topic

#1 unicycle

Posted 06 February 2013 - 07:23 PM

Hi,
Some suggestions for activities. Will be there with Tweens. Also, can you talk me thorough visa on arrival and getting a taxi into town from the airport? money: changing US dollars. Where?
Thanks

#2 eachschoolholidays

Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:44 PM

I went 8 years ago.  From speaking to other people, it has charged hugely since then.

We bought a visa before we left and entered Cambodia by river from Vietnam.

Go to the Choeung Ek memorial and Tuol Sleng.  WE had a lovely dinner at Friends Resturant which was run by an NGO.  The Russian market might be worth a look.

Watch The Killing Fields with your tweens before you go so that they have idea about the history of what they will be seeing.

#3 harryhoo

Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:52 PM

We went three years ago. We bought our Visa's at the airport when we got there. It was pretty straightforward. And you'll be exchange US dollars everywhere - if you need to. Most things accept (if not prefer) that you pay in US dollars. We loved it. Can be pretty confronting if you are unaware of the country's history - but is an inspiring place considering that history. There'll be plenty to keep everyone busy - from palaces and museums to day trips and markets. Is hard to give advice on what to do without know what their interests are. Maybe get the Lonely Planet book as it has so much useful information.

#4 Kay1

Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:01 PM

We went 8 years ago too. My advice would be to make sure someone tells your taxi driver the address and ascertain he understands where you are staying. Ours was very enthusiastic but then took us to a completely different hotel as he had no idea where ours was (it was a small hostel booked by a friend). We had a map but that was no good as he couldn't read it at all.

I loved it there. There is the Foreign Press Club and then along the river front there are lots of nice little cafes etc (or at least there were).

I don't think I'd be taking tweens to Toul Sleng or watching the Killing Fields with them. I'd certainly explain the history in an age appropriate way but I think some of that stuff is way too confronting for that age.

#5 Fright bat

Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:04 PM

Not much in Phnom Peng NOT of interest to tweens - but the history is pretty confronting and complex. Worth reading up on so you know it yourself.

(Summary - Pol Pot and comrades went to Uni in France and learned all about communism, came back to Cambodia and formed a little communist part but no one took then too seriously. At the time the US was bombing the crap out of the Eastern border of Cambodia to try and get Vietnamese troops that had fled across the border. Lots of Cambodians were killed and people started getting pretty p*ssed. Pol Pot and gang used this unrest to stage a coup and gain power. Pot's ideology was to return Cambodia to the agrarian paradise he though it was in the time Angkor Wat was built 1000 years earlier and he saw 'intellectuals' as the barrier to that. It was rumored that Cambodia had three rice harvests a year in that time (one harvest is standard, two is considered pretty amazing, three is exceptional) so he either killed everyone with an education or sent them to forced labour farms. US pulled out of Vietnam, Vietnam heard what was happening in Cambodia and marched on Phnom Penh, US decided to support Pol pot and cronies because they still hated Vietnam and more people got killed all round. Vietnam finally left, America felt a bit bad about it all, and not Cambodians are trying to rebuild their country.

TL; DR - lots of people got killed by an oppressive regime)



#6 eachschoolholidays

Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:11 PM

QUOTE (AvadaKedavra @ 06/02/2013, 10:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Not much in Phnom Peng NOT of interest to tweens - but the history is pretty confronting and complex. Worth reading up on so you know it yourself.

(Summary - Pol Pot and comrades went to Uni in France and learned all about communism, came back to Cambodia and formed a little communist part but no one took then too seriously. At the time the US was bombing the crap out of the Eastern border of Cambodia to try and get Vietnamese troops that had fled across the border. Lots of Cambodians were killed and people started getting pretty p*ssed. Pol Pot and gang used this unrest to stage a coup and gain power. Pot's ideology was to return Cambodia to the agrarian paradise he though it was in the time Angkor Wat was built 1000 years earlier and he saw 'intellectuals' as the barrier to that. It was rumored that Cambodia had three rice harvests a year in that time (one harvest is standard, two is considered pretty amazing, three is exceptional) so he either killed everyone with an education or sent them to forced labour farms. US pulled out of Vietnam, Vietnam heard what was happening in Cambodia and marched on Phnom Penh, US decided to support Pol pot and cronies because they still hated Vietnam and more people got killed all round. Vietnam finally left, America felt a bit bad about it all, and not Cambodians are trying to rebuild their country.

TL; DR - lots of people got killed by an oppressive regime)


That's not actually correct.  Vietnam didn't invade because of the atrocities being committed.  They invaded because Cambodia kept committing boarder raids over land they considered to be theirs.  They also invaded yearsafter the US withdrew.

#7 unicycle

Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:38 PM

Thanks, keep it coming, please. Will not be able to walk much, sadly. Think will keep killing fields for another time. They will spend a couple of days in a very desperately poor place: that'll do for this trip.
Am hoping for some interesting sights / sites  that you loved. They are not so into temples. Normally into being very active, but we are carrying an injury this time! Oops.

#8 starsg

Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:46 PM


Tuol Sleng is definitely worth a visit. Also 'First They Killed My Father' by Luong Ung is a first hand account of Phnom Penh before and after the Khmer takeover and definitely worthwhile to read before you go. You really can't go to Cambodia without being confronted by aspects of the atrocities that occurred everywhere so if you have a good understanding of what happened before you go it will add another dimension to your trip.

http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attractions-...Phnom_Penh.html

check out the trip advisor page for Phnom Penh as well, lots of good ideas there original.gif


#9 TheSmithFamily

Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:49 PM

We travelled to Siem reap two years ago and plan to visit PP this April.

ATMs everywhere! Easy to access US dollars and small change given in riel.

Visa on arrival easy! You need cash, us $ and a passport size pic. Kids visa should be free but sometimes a bit hit and miss.

We plan on visiting the silver pagoda/ royal palace, markets, and trying lots of street food along the river area.

We are also doing a side trip to Sihnoukville to the beach.

Enjoy your trip.

#10 kandj

Posted 09 February 2013 - 02:05 PM

I've been a couple times, a few years ago though so might not be as up to date.

Firstly, how long are you planning to go for?? Will you go to siem reap for Angkor Wat? Did a beach side trip interest you? or just PP?

The Russian markets are great.

S21 (Tuol Sleng) is an eye opener and I don't think it would be too confronting - the history is still so current for the people of Cambodia that I really think it does make a difference to know where their experiences have taken them. We met some really amazing people that had been through such heartache... But I also don't know how old 'tweens' are?! I'm assuming 13-15 or something??

A lunch at Friends cafe is a must!!! which happens to be located near to an interesting sight (for the life of me I can't remember which one though!)

I have only been to PP pre kids though...I loved the chaos, zipping around on the back of the motorbike taxi's and the friendliness of the people.

As others have said. visa is easy, take a passport photo and some USD and its a quick and easy process.

The first time I visited Cambodia there were NO atm's...anywhere!!! Two years later we visited again and there were at least a half dozen in PP and even in Siem Reap. So that was years ago - probably 6? so I can only assume there would be plenty around everywhere now.

#11 carriesshoes

Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:55 PM

I think most people have covered the main things, but I loved a little eating place called "dead fish".  it's like a giant tree house, with people eating on all different levels, food comes and goes via trays on ropes (like tree mail), and the bottom floor has big crocodile pits that you walk between to get to the loos.  Fantastic place!




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