Phnom penh vs Bangkok

May 1st, 2014, 11:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 8
Phnom penh vs Bangkok


We"re off to Siem Reap in early August followed by which will have another 3 days (excluding travel days) before our return flight.

Now we have been to Bangkok a few times and love it (for the street food and nightlife) but never been to PP before. While keen to explore a new city, we havent heard many great things about PP on the two things that matter to us.

So how does Phnom penh compare to Bangkok in terms of nightlife? Does it have the variety and options of different local and international cuisines?

If PP is half as good on these two fronts as Bangkok, PP it will be for us!!

wunderlad is offline  
May 1st, 2014, 07:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2014
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After a hard day touring the Angkor Park by tuk tuk you'll enjoy the night life on Pub Street in Siem Reap. Many people have the same idea and the place starts to rock from dusk onwards.

Canby publications have great websites covering all of Cambodia...

Apart from flying (which is boring), the safest way to get from SR to PP is by Giant Ibis bus...

The road between SR and PP is manic, with traffic of all descriptions and different speeds coming in all directions, so the bigger the vehicle you're in the safer you'll feel. Don't travel by road overnight.

A good day out from your PP accommodation, after a leisurely breakfast is...

- Hire a tuk tuk for the day. Cost about US$15 plus tip.

- Visit the KIlling Fields (KF) site. Takes about 50 minutes to reach there by tuk tuk from Central PP. Despite the horrors that took place there the KF site is really well presented. For your US$5 admission you get an audio guide, and once you've put the ear-phones on you'll be totally absorbed as the audio guides you from point-to-point. A couple of hours is about enough time.

- The back towards town to visit S21 Genocide Museum. Admission is US$2. It's raw and harrowing, but if you're visiting PP you really should see what the people went through. There's a film show at 1100 and 1500.

- Lunch (if you've still got an appetite!).

- Back on the tuk tuk to visit the Russian Market, which is close to S21. Loads of bargains, and it's undercover to escape the heat.

- Back to accommodation to freshen-up.

- Then let the evening begin with enjoying the Happy Hour (1700-1900) at The Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC) on Sisowath Quay. Get there early and bag a seat on the balcony with great views across and along the river, and to watch the madness of the rush-hour traffic on the Quay below.
LancasterLad is offline  
May 1st, 2014, 11:32 PM
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 5
Indeed, as the others already answered, Phnom Pehn is definetely less international. However, you'll find it really interesting if you can handle the madness in town. As mentionned before, a visit of the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng is recommended. I believe you should go, if only to discover new thigs.

Apart from the classics, I want to add two really cool places. First is a restaurant called Mama's Restaurant on No. 60 Street 63 that serves awesome Khmer and French cuisine. Try the beef stew!

After a tiring day in hot, hot, hot, phnom penh, you should definetely check out The Flicks Community Movie House. Run by a really friendly expat, The Flicks is an air-conditionned cinema that shows 2 international movies every night. But that's not all! First, there is not seats, it is mattress! So you just lie down and enjoy the movie as you order hot dog or pizza.
Papytofu is offline  
May 3rd, 2014, 04:22 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 441
Personally I enjoy Phnom Penh and don't find it too 'mad'. Just be careful crossing the street which is good advice for anywhere in Asia and you'll be fine. While the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng are confronting I feel they are a necessary part of coming to grips with Cambodia. There are plenty of fine international restaurants in PP but why anybody would travel to Cambodia to eat Italian food escapes me. Not sure if you can buy 'happy' pizzas in Italy though. (With added marijuana)

Have a great trip.
silverwool is offline  
May 11th, 2014, 03:05 AM
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Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 8
Many thanks for all your thoughts and recommendations. Really interesting.

Looks like phnom penh is going to be it then!!
wunderlad is offline  
May 11th, 2014, 03:49 PM
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Join Date: May 2014
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Hi again,
Been reading of some repair work going on on the SR to PP highway? Is that still on and will increase the travel time time to over 7 hrs?
We hate buses and the added door to door convenience will mean we will probably go in for a hired taxi to travel to PP. Is that easy to procure at SR?
wunderlad is offline  
May 11th, 2014, 05:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 441
We normally go by bus but are flying this time. The fare was $70US for a 45 minute flight as opposed to 6 - 7 hours by road. Depending on how many of you there are this could be an option. I'm sure you'd have no problems hiring a taxi for the trip in SR. Be wary of 'shared' taxis!
silverwool is offline  
May 11th, 2014, 09:35 PM
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Read replies 4 to 7 on this current TA thread...

And have a look at this recent video...

I did PP to SR last March (2013), and although there was a fair bit of road improvements going then the road was alright. But it looks like there's been a step backwards.

I'd probably still do that trip by road, but not if rain was forecast. I'd definitely choose a big bus and certainly not a taxi. Traffic of all shapes and sizes, fast and slow, comes at you from all directions, and the bigger the vehicle you're in the safer you'll feel.

Giant Ibis are clean and comfortable. Two loo stops, plus a lunch break at a nice roadside restaurant...
LancasterLad is offline  
May 13th, 2014, 11:20 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 532
If you've been to Bangkok before I agree you should give PP a try.

Pick up a visitors guide as it has maps, info on dining, shopping, nightlife, etc. It's published by Canby Publications. I can't remember where I got mine but it's the issue for Oct. 2013-Jan. 2014. We were in PP this past Jan.

Definitely go to the FCC Bar for Happy Hour and have drinks with a view of Sisowath Quay and the river. And another recommendation just for a different atmosphere is the Elephant Bar at Raffles. They also have a Happy Hour but I don't think it was buy one, get one-maybe 50% off the 2nd drink?? There is an old world elegance there. 2 totally different vibes. We also went to the Sky Bar where the views are truly amazing. We went just before the lights went on illuminating the streets and some monuments.

Dining-There is a variety of cuisines-Cambodian, French, Chinese, etc. Blue Pumpkin if you like ice cream. There's one on the Quay. Also you may consider tapas/small bites at Friends. This is a restaurant that trains former street youth-a worthy cause and the food is great as is the service!! Daughters of Cambodia for lunch-another worthy cause as the staff are former survivors of human trafficking. Romdeng, frizz for Cambodian. Street 51 for bars/clubs-Heart of Darkness.

Sightseeing-Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda/Emerald Buddha, a day for the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum/S21, Choeung Ek Memorial/Killing Fields-you get an audio guide, and the Russian Market.

We did Giant Ibis from Kampot to PP and the bus was lovely-clean, working A/C, very comfortable seats.

Enjoy your trip and be sure to report back here on the forum as to how it went!!
chris45ny is offline  
May 19th, 2014, 06:55 AM
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 464
Whats wrong with eating.pizzas in Cambodia? Cambodian food is known to be bad. Thats why they have so many foreign food types.
Prachuap is offline  

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