According to the normal pattern, the capital of a country is the busiest and most modern city of the nation. This happens again in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. The streets are noisy, dirty and polluted because of the high concentration of vehicles -private cars, tuk tuks, taxis, big motorbikes, mopeds, buses, truks and many more- which also makes to cross the road a pretty dangerous action, since everybody drive as they please –with red light, in the wrong sense of the road or on the pedestrian zones-. We haven’t had any problem with the traffic so far, but have had to stand in the middle of the road more than once, waiting for the vehicles to stop at the red traffic light. We have spent many hours wandering around town and have suffered from the fumes until our lungs could feel it. Now, from a smoke free area in an internet cafe our throat is getting better but, in case we come back to this city, we will consider to wear this surgical masks that many locals do wear.
About the city itself there is not much to highlight due to its lack of sights. The city is chaotic and charmless. There are no nice parks, interesting neirbourhoods or impresive buildings, apart from the scarce french colonial architecture, the central market or the Royal Palace. Having visited the Grand Palace in Bangkok before, it wasn’t appealing enough for us to visit it here. Furthermore, walking around Phnom Penh can be very tough and tiring, since it’s very hot all day long. There is no breeze nor shadow in this city, which makes it very unpleasant to stroll around. And we are in the wet season, who knows what hell could be in the dry one!!! The best moments of our stay have been chating with locals in the street and a couple of visits to the exterior of some french colonial villas, which looked really beatiful however their decadent aspect. Spending two days here for us was more than enough and we decided to head towards the Cambodian coast, searching for a relaxed and refreshing place to hang aroung for a while.