Phnom Penh and eating pizza in a tropical storm.
The morning was very chilled, we got money out, a mix of dollar and Cambodian Riel, and dropped some laundry off. Once this was done we went to see the two sights of Phnom Penh, we headed to the river and enjoyed the view. It’s funny that the Mekong always seems to be there in your journey, no matter which country you’re in.
It was a pleasant walk down past the royal palace, we didn’t go in but just viewed it from the exterior. It’s not high on our list of things to see.
Walking further down we ended up at Tue independence monument, we would later find out that it was Cambodian independence the following day. It looked like the monument was being prepared.
The walk was great and it was actually quite nice being back in the scorching heat after the constant rain. Ending up back in the hotel area we stopped at a place to eat ice cream sundaes and I had a great coconut shake. Leia had lost her phone the night before so after lunch we went over to a mall where she got herself a snazzy new $60 phone!
While she sorted that out I wandered round the various stalls/shops and spotted football shirts for $4! I had to get an arsenal one as it was the north london derby that night. It was a little small but it fit.
After this we dropped stuff off at the hotel and went in search of food. Unfortunately for us we had walked less than 5 minutes before the sky opened up and a massive storm began. It’s amazing how quickly the rain and weather escalates in SE Asia. We took shelter in the nearest place, a bar called black cat. The staff were really friendly and told us about the holiday tomorrow. It was also our first taste of Cambodian beer, we all agreed it’s good. The rain wasn’t letting up so we stayed there a while, but soon our hunger became too much so when a slight break in the weather came we ran towards the first place we saw.
I had told myself I wouldn’t eat pizza while I’m away, that it would be the best treat when I got back to stuff my face full of it. However the place we ended up in just did pizza, for like, £2.50! It was sooooo good, while we were eating the rain continued to fall and lightning lit up the sky above us, with the boom of thunder mixing with the various traffic noises. It was fun and it’s the evening when the rain isn’t as much of a drag.
We had read that there was a gay bar in Phnom Penh and it was only a few minutes walk away, so we paid the nice owner of the pizza place and walked to rainbow bar. It was dead, the only people there were staff, but we couldn’t see anywhere nearby and sat down outside now the rain had ceased.
The staff were hilarious, one guy (Elise) was extremely camp and open about what it’s like to be gay in Cambodia. Elise was happy to answer any questions we had about his country and it was a nice way to spend the evening, even if he did get a bit much at times!
Knowing the football was on we drank up after a few beers and went in the general direction of the hotel, knowing we saw a bar the night before that looked promising.
Upon arrival we were sat down and told the football would be on soon. It was then that we realised it was full of Cambodian women and a scattering of white men. The atmosphere was okay though one woman took a fancy to me even though I showed her a picture of Peter. I don’t think she got the hint and was very eager. Thankfully she left me alone while the football was on.
Leia and Liam couldn’t last the game and went home at half time, around 11:45. Arsenal were losing 1-0 at that point and a fellow fan came and had sat with us. Al from north london was in Cambodia on a whim and it was his 4th or 5th time here. It’s good to get advice about stuff and even better to have someone who knows a bit about football to talk to during a game.
The beer was going down well as the gunners equalised! 1-1 and that’s how it ended. With that it was bedtime for me so I said my farewells and disappeared into the night.