Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 continued…
It was a short flight from Bangkok to Phnom Penh and we were both pumped to get our passports stamped! We made our way through immigration, then handed over our paperwork to customs before flagging down a Tuk Tuk to our hotel.
After being in countries that don’t expect tips for so long during our trip, we were caught a little off guard when the driver asked us for one before we walked in the hotel.
We were shocked to find out that the hotel we booked a room at over booked, and we no longer had a room for the night. We were stressed since there was limited availability for rooms on the cheap during our prior online search, but the owner was kind enough to make things right. He took us to a neighboring hotel, the “Kambuja Inn”, where the owner agreed to let us stay one night for the same price. We assumed getting the visa for Vietnam would likely take some time to process, so once we settled in, we started our online search for a different place to stay the following few days since the cheap price was just a one night deal.
Once all that was settled, we hit the streets to check out the city of Phnom Penh. We saw the Royal Palace and walked along the Mekong River before stopping at “Happy Phnom Penh Place” to sample some of the local beers.
A little boy was making his rounds with the tourists, approaching us hoping to sell some of his goods. He then laid on top of me and started giggling. I was a little perplexed. I wasn’t sure if he was just a kid being a kid, or if it was a failed pickpocket attempt. No harm, no foul, I guess.
I’d become even more bewildered when we got our tab for the five beers we purchased. It was only $4.40! That’s about the same price as ordering one beer of the same quality at a restaurant back at home! Our purchase would also school us on how Cambodian currency works. They use U.S. dollar bills, but Cambodian Riel for their coins. I might add, Cambodian Riel is rather tricky to get rid of once it starts to accumulate in your pockets!
We ate next-door at “Khmer House’s BBQ” for dinner. I got Khmer Caramelized Pork and Rice, and Trevor ordered the Banana Flower Salad, his latest obsession.
We breezed through the marketplace, and then had a few more rounds of drinks at “Angkor Mithona Guesthouse” where I practiced speaking Khmer with the bartenders. From all their laughter and corrections, I could tell my accent and pronunciations were horrific. I’m sure the alcohol wasn’t exactly helping my situation. All I could do was shrug and join in on the laughs. I’m good at making an ass of myself. I’ve had a lot of experience over the years.
Jump Back to Thailand: Part 25: Breath on my Neck & Getting Crop Dusted by Strangers
Jump Ahead to Cambodia: Part 2: Visa Express, Night Lights & Rooftops
Start from the Beginning at Part 1: Don’t Forget to Pack Your Anxiety