Discovering Phnom Penh

Friday, July 31, 2009


Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, is as fascinating and steeped in history as it is chaotic, and is now just picking up the pieces from its disastrous history over the last few decades.

Narrow, potholed back streets run off frantic roundabouts and wide European-style boulevards, a mark of the French who ran the country from 1864 to the 1950s. Driving becomes a game of scooter dodgems with the added diversion of finding the two-wheeler most loaded down. At last count, the winner was eight people — and a cow.

But as this New Zealand Herald story reports, from the regal Royal Palace (still the King’s residence) to the heart wrenching Tuol Sleng Museum (which chronicles the horrors of the Khmer Rouge), there is plenty to see in Phnom Penh.

© 2022