Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Phnom Penh Whirlwind Tour: Part 2

After seeing the plight of the Khmer people's history... it was time to take a deep breath, suck it up and see what Phnom Penh had to offer.

Movie: Tuk-Tuk Ride Through Phnom Penh

Mr. Tuktuk driver took me to the Russian Market (Psar Toul Tom Poung).. named this because in the 1980's it housed the most Russian goods of all of Cambodia. This place is supposed to be the mecca of shopping in Cambodia/Phnom Penh.. and because I was only on day 1 on my trip, I hardcore tried to hold myself back or else I'd be holding everything the market sold on my back for the next 3 weeks. I honestly didn't see toooo much that I really wanted... I bought some totally random things, like a Cambodian puppet.. purse, pants, shirt and a small painting. I had lunch in the market (LOVE lunches in markets) and it was SOOO amazing... I just sat down, and pointed to the guy next to me's food (and really everyone else around me.. they only offered one thing I believe) and once the moments of utter ecstasy were gone, I asked what the name of the dish was.. the only answer I got was 'chicken' with a really big grin! :) Yum Yum, I'm down with that.. although I'm STILL curious about the real name!

I was a bit pooped, and the Royal Palace was closed for a quick siesta mid-day.. so Mr. Tuktuk driver drove me back to the hostel. Where I rested for a fiesty 10 minutes.. and out the door I went. Where to? To the Central Market.. I bought nothing here! :::And the angels sing::: but it was a wicked awesome building and a really cool vibe. They sold absolutely everything there!!

Then, I wandered the streets next to the riverside, which was lovely. So much culture, so many things to look at, so much people watching to do!!! Loved it! The riverside though was definitely very super touristy! All of the restaurants/and bars had one person's name written on it "Bob the 60 Year Old Sex Tourist". That I think has been the grossest thing for me about SE Asia... I didn't pay attention to it as much when I was in Thailand (although that is the big daddy of sex tourism).. but here.. O M G.. it's ridiculous.. all you see is these old grosse guys walking around with young Cambodian girls or sitting at a bar talking to some young Cambodian girls.. and you know EXACTLY what's up.. it's quite revolting, and sad. A guy later told me that he was curious and asked a girl how much she charged.. a wopping $5/hour.. so so so so SO so so so sad! Goodness, I hate it!

Anyways, I visited a really cool Buddhist temple that housed a lot of the monks in the city. Then I found the Royal Palace.. which was definitely over priced (about $6 I think) where everyone had to be 'properly' clothed in shorts that cover the knee and a t-shirt or something that covers the shoulders. And those who didn't wear the correct thing, had the choice of walking back in the BLISTERING heat to change or buy a $3 plain white t-shirt, absurd! It was definitely very pretty, and if you haven't seen very many Asian temples or things like that, you'd be super interested.. but I kinda feel like it was a waste of money!!

After all of this, this mama got blisters on her feet.. darn Rainbows.. I don't know why you keep doing this to me!?!?! I dodged traffic a couple of times (one time absolutely getting scared out my whits.. I got half way, and had to run back.. I f-r-e-a-k-e-d out!! Now, I'm much better. But then, I just wasn't quite prepared for the craziness that is traffic there... .there were 2 police officers that were totally watching me freak out as well and they just chuckled.. I stood there for a hot minute analyzing my situation.. and tried to go at it a different way (finally noticing a stoplight.. even thought he stoplight had nothing to do with pedestrians crossing.. I soon found out)... I managed.. and hobbled around trying to find some yummy food to eat for dinner.. I was staaarving at this point!

I spotted a night market which looked promising.. they normally are.. but it was so late I think that most of the Khmer restaurants had closed/turned into pure bars.. the night market was playing some sweet Daddy Yankee music.. which made me crave Mexican.. and I'm fully ashamed.. and I have to admit it here.. I ate at Viva.. a Mexican Restaurant with $1 margheritas and $3 enchiladas. I. Couldn't. Resist. Don't forget I live in Korea.. so it's not like I can just go back home and eat the stuff.. and I know I'm making excuses and I should have been eating Cambodian food.. but OMG was it cheap and DELICIOUS! And LIMES... ::sigh::... LIMES... that is what I miss most!

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