Cambodia, it was once described as not a culture shock but as a culture electrocution and I can see why. I arrived there around 9am and after a sleepless night on a cold airplane I was quite exhausted and just wanted to get to my hotel to have a nap.
But first thing was first, getting to the hotel, I knew that this was going to be a challenge as Tuk-Tuk drivers are known to take you to the own hotels, and I was prepared for it. As soon as I cleared immigration it started, a swarm of drivers started to offer me rides. After been approached by one driver I negotiated a price for a ride to the city and we were on our way. Immediately that couture electrocution vibe started to set in, been so far away from comfort and yet embracing this is home for the next two weeks.
The Tuk-Tuk driver did what I expected and dropped me off at his hotel and told me to go in no matter how many times I told him that I already had a hotel. I handed him $10USD and started walking on foot. After walking a short distance I could feel the heat starting to set in, I was dehydrated and needed water. After walking around in circles for what seemed ages I decided to pull out my phone and google map my location to the hotel, it turned out that I was within 100 meters of it. I checked in to the hotel and made my way upstairs to my room. I actually slept for the rest of the day!
The next morning I awoke to some strange thoughts “what am I doing?” “will I be able to do this?” “should I cut the trip short?” i’m not sure if it was the culture shock sitting in or that I just overslept. I went down to the restaurant and got some breakfast and started to plan my day out. I knew that I wanted to see the central market so I set out to find the central market knowing that it was only a couple of streets away. I arrived and many of the stalls were still setting up, it was a labyrinth of clothing, jewellery and electronic goods.
You can buy all kinds of things here like a real Rolex (Yeah Right!) Elephant Pants, Selfie Sticks, Branded Clothing, Statues, Bags Ect. It’s worth a look if you have got a couple hours to burn.
I spent the rest of the day walking the streets around Phnom Penh, looking in little side shops. I was impressed by this massive city. It has a unique charm to it, an urban city that is still developing.
I returned back to my hotel and rested up, as I knew the next two weeks we’re going to be huge!