One of the most memorable experiences we’ve had in Cambodia, is travelling by tuk tuk. Yes, on the dusty bumpy roads of Phnom Penh, taking in waves of hot air, and honked by crazy drivers. We absolutely loved it, whoo! Even when our tuk tuk was at tipping point when making a sharp turn, our hilarious driver would nod, and assure us with his broken English, gesturing ‘Okay, Okay!’
I’m not being sarcastic, really. Flying in from Siem Reap. Let us take you on a ride through Phnom Penh, and visit the children from PSE (Pour Un Sourire d’Enfant) – an organisation helping children escape destitution. Their smiles are the best gifts we have brought back from Cambodia.
Where We Stayed
When we first arrived at The Happy House Hostel by Tuk Tuk, we were greeted by one of the staff, who introduced himself with a sense of humour. This hostel operates in 2 separate buildings, we were transferred to the other building on arrival. The restaurant and bar are on the ground floor, not the cheapest, but convenient. Chill and socialise there in the evenings, they play movies every night. Room is basic, equipped with fans, can’t complain for the price we’ve paid for. Location is good, within walking distance to Central Market and Riverside. Staff are friendly and helpful in booking tours.
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
We went on a day tour covering Genocide Museum and Killing Fields. It was a pretty heavy day for anyone who is not used to be exposed to this level of cruelty.
The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
Looking at a whole tower of skulls and how they became skulls, were not exactly what I had on my itinerary. Nevertheless, it was educational, makes us appreciate the world we live in today.
A short walk from our hostel, Central Market has everything you need!
The walk along the river bank was really enjoyable in a hot summer breeze. Watch locals play the traditional game of Sei Dak (Kick Ball). It’s not as easy as it seems! We gave it a try, and can barely keep our flipflops on!
Stop by a restaurant or bar for dinner, sip on a coconut, and watch the evening lights flicker by the river!
PSE (Pour Un Sourire d’Enfant)
We actually booked a tuk tuk to take us to one of the orphanages. After tuk tuk-ing across the city, our driver got lost in his own backyard lol, asking for directions along the way. We weren’t sure where we were being taken to, but have decided to just chill and enjoy the ride anyhow. After some run around, we were told the orphanage just closed down, but PSE was open.
So we bought some stationery and lollies, and headed to PSE. One of the staff welcomed us and introduced himself as our guide. We toured around the school, and learned about the conditions their students were living in. Kids there were very curious to see visitors, we met 2 friendly teenagers and had a brief conversation with them. Surprisingly, their English was very good, and they both took a second language class at school. We gave them a couple of bags of lollies before saying goodbyes. I’ll never forget the surprise and appreciation look on their faces, before giggling away with their friends.
Maybe one day, we could go back and volunteer in a school like this. Help these children to learn the skills to achieve a better life in the future.
Take a sunset cruise, Cambodia has amazing sunsets. Watch local fishing families go about their day, kids playing in the water, teaching you just how simple it is to be happy. Relax and enjoy the music.
Traditional Cambodian Dance Show
Make a night out to watch the traditional dance show! Learn about Cambodian culture, music and costumes from the stories presented in each show.
Now we’re ready to celebrate New Year in Ho Chi Minh City!
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