23 December 2013

Phnom Penh, Cambodia - Day 1

Day 1 of my Experience in Cambodia

There were six of us under a charity and qurban program organised by MIROS (Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research). We flew to Phnom Penh from KLIA and reached in the evening. It was raining slightly. We used the public musolla at the airport to do our prayers. The airport musolla (prayer room for Muslims) is open to men and women so you wanna mind your aurah here. Also, the wudhu' area is public, so the only other option you have is the public toilet (>.<) We made our way to our hotel, Paradise Hotel, in a booked van. The journey felt long because of the heavy traffic but the actual time between hotel and airport was only 20 minutes. We went straight to dinner at Mekong Cafe, which served halal food \(^▽^@)ノ Halal food is admittedly very hard to find, so be sure to know someone local or do complete research beforehand. Booking early to avoid waiting is also a good idea..

Musolla / surau / Muslim prayer room at the Phnom Penh airport
One of the halal places to eat at Phnom Penh ^_^

Our dinner!

The menu

We made our way to the hotel and only made one pit stop to the market to stock on drinking water. The hotel is rated two-star, but it served us really well through out the journey (^~^). The hotel staff are helpful & friendly, though I wouldn't say they were the smiley type. Dusk is about 6 pm there so it's pitch dark afterwards. The nightlife in the city goes on till late of course. The first night there me and my roomate had a little friend (cockroach), but we got the help of the bell man- who speaks no english at all btw. Our rooms had two single beds; both room and bathroom were very spacious d(-_^). Rubber slippers are provided in the bathroom. I slept well the entire night despite the honking cars and zooming bikes right outside our window..

★ Obvious tip but never forget to bring your headphones! My flight did not provide them and I had a hard time staying up on the plane.
★ You will come across 'No Payment Needed Here' signs at the immigration. I overheard the other passengers saying at the borders of the country bribery is rampant. But evidently at the airport things are more under control.
★ The roads are full of tuk-tuks and motorbikes. They own the road and drive as the please, though they will avoid people who are crossing streets.
★ The electrical socket here is two-pin / American style so don't forget your adapter!
★  The traffic is heavy during evenings - about 5 pm onwards - when people return from work especially if it's raining.
★ Bring ear plugs if you are a light sleeper - if your hotel, like mine, is in the middle of the city and very near traffic, loud cars and honking are very obvious throughout the day and night.


Next post: 
✿The journey to Kampong Cham.
✿Ocean-like paddy fields and village houses as tall as the palm trees.
✿Cows, cows, cows and a palm-sized hairy spider.

Stay tuned for Day 2 of my Cambodia Experience!
( ´ ▽ ` )ノ

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