3 Days in Phnom Penh
New country, new city, new vibe, and we liked it from the get-go. I had read another blogger describing Phnom Penh as more laid back compared to Ho Chi Minh City and I would say he was spot on.
Where to stay in Phnom Penh
The Blue Corner Boutique Hotel is a three and a half star property with 100% - would recommend - on Expedia. We agree. We booked three nights and ended up staying for four. More about this below. The nightly rate was $CAD 49.00. We clearly underestimated how refreshing a dip in the pool would be after sightseeing in the heat - mid to high 30's. Combine this with a couple of happy-hour Angkor Wat local brews and I am sure you can imagine the bliss. The service was superb at the Blue Corner. When I shared I had also worked at a hotel in Canada they asked for suggestions. I told them they had it all figured out. Personal service at its best. It is the small things that make a difference; acknowledging us every time we walked through the lobby, asking if we were feeling better if we needed anything. Another five-star rating in the making.
Birthday, Shopping, Dining and Exploring in Phnom Penh
We celebrated Di's birthday on Sunday and it was a superb day. While shopping at the central market we found new colourful shorts, a patchwork skirt, a flowered dress and a necklace for Di. Lunch was fish Amok, a Cambodian dish, at at a roof-top restaurant overlooking the Mekong river. A small temple along the water front was the scene of blessings as many offerings were made to Buddha and we experienced it all up close. Flowers, fruits and birds. Candles and incense were lit and musicians played traditional instruments.
We had dinner in a beautiful old mansion restaurant near our hotel. The staff were marginalized youth under training. We had traditional Cambodian, a drink and desert to follow. And that wraps up the fun part of Phnom Penh. We probably let our guard down for Di's birthday and did not give much thought to what we were eating and drinking or perhaps we just felt invincible. A great feeling; but one you sometimes pay for later. For the next day or two we paid the price with traveler's stomach. Oh boy. We extended our stay at the Blue Corner for another night as the mere thought of the six and a half hour bus ride to Siem Reap was unsettling.