It all started with a backpack. My backpack. My lost backpack.
26 hours after leaving my hostel in Cairns I arrived in Phnom Penh. I had bags of excitement, but unfortunately not my actual bag. No, it’s definitely not ideal arriving in a foreign country bagless. But after hearing that it would turn up on another flight later that night, I was determined not to let my usual anxious mindset take over the positive vibes. So after accepting that my fear of having no luggage came true, I ducked into my first tuk tuk and my Asian adventure began.
Here‘s a few things that, if you’re ever in the capital of Cambodia, you can tick off:
Taste Khmer Cuisine
Amok is the most popular dish in Cambodia and it’s the one I’ve had repeatedly because it tastes so damn good. Aromatic, zesty and slight fragrant flavour to it, Amok is the gift that keeps on giving that I keep eating (I’ve eaten it almost every day so far).
As you can probably imagine, this is chaos – but for me, one I thrived off of. We only nipped in quickly to grab some harem pants, but wish we’d stayed longer.
The Killing Fields / S-21
Myself and a newly made travel friend took a forty minute ride to The Killing Fields on my second day of being in Phnom Penh. Typically around a $15 return journey from town, we managed to haggle it down to $10.
After, we headed back towards town to the S-21 Prison Museum. As to be expected, this was a harrowing day, educating ourselves on the barbaric Khmer Rouge Regime, led by Pol Pot.
Both tours come at $6, which includes unmissable audio equipment. Without the audio, you really won’t get as much from the day.
Visit the Palace
The day we went to visit the palace was the day that the Queen Mother was celebrating her birthday. And so, it was closed to the public.
However, later that night we returned to see a spectacular celebration amongst the Cambodian people. The palace was covered in lights, which looked incredible.
Have brunch at the Daughters of Cambodia
Fortunately for me, one of the fellow travellers I befriended informed me of this place. Not only is the food delicious, Daughters of Cambodia is aimed at getting girls and women out of the sex industry – and keeping them out – by offering better pay in a safer environment.
I only spent two full days in Phnom Penh, but if you have anything to add please let me know!
For those worried about the whereabouts of my luggage, Malaysia Airlines pulled through and it’s now safe and sound with Mac.