Monday, May 16, 2011

Phnom Penh - Here I Come! - Day 1 Part 1

Here I was, sitting alone in the night bus heading to LCCT, filled with excitement of the prospect of going to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, yet was a bit uncertain as it was my first time boarding air flight to a foreign land. I was pretty much slept my way to LCCT yet when I reached the terminal, I was still sleepy. Waiting to board my flight was pretty boring without anyone to talk to. Luckily, everything was on time and I was high up in the air before the sun has rise.

View from my seat in the bus

My flight

It was a nauseous experience, going by flight. A bit bumpy, but, all in all, I managed to reach safely in Phnom Penh.

Some of the aerial views of the city

Phnom Penh International Airport

My friend was already waiting for me outside the airport when I came out of it. He brought me to his house while we waited for the arrivals of our friends later in the afternoon. It happened that when we bought the air tickets during the Air Asia promotion, not all of us managed to secure the cheap flight. I resorted to going first in the morning while the rest were in the afternoon.

My friend and his aunt
The lady in green shirt is his mum

I boarded on his motorbike and off we went to his house, some 20 minutes ride away, plus or minus. The weather was more or less like in Malaysia, bright and glaring yet not scaling hot. Dust was part of the air that I breathed and along with the yellowish road, it gave me an impression that it was a harsh country, and in some way, it is. 

Chinese decoration with a touch of Cambodia

The marketplace

Some of the local delicacies that I the noodle dish

Even though Cambodia attained independence around the same time as Malaysia, when making comparison between both countries, Malaysia is definitely up among the top in term of urban development. According to my friend, being a teacher here, for example, is not a good and secure job like in Malaysia. The salary for a lower secondary public high school teacher is about 300 USD which is about RM 900, more than half the amount of the salary of a Malaysia teacher teaching at equivalent level.

The landscape shot of a lower secondary school

I had the opportunity to see the teaching process in Cambodia

English is more like a privilege than a given in Cambodia. For those who can afford private schooling, they will begin learning the language at the primary level whereas for those who cannot afford it, they have to wait until lower secondary only to be exposed to the language. We begin to learn English pretty much when we were in kindergarten.

A group shot with the students
A scene taken while on a motorbike ride

All these underdevelopment are mostly due to the political instabilities the country faced after independence. Civil wars only ended in the country around 1998 and Cambodia is trying hard to catch up with the world with the past decade.

Traditional Khmer dishes cooked by his aunt

Sharing is caring. A word of advice and a piece of information.

English is not a common language in Phnom Penh, according to my friend. Not many people are able to speak the language. Even some universities students are not able to master the language. So, be prepared.


  1. I love asia india and wanted to know, among other places.
    interesting because of the culture.
    Good job friend
    hugs...visit me

  2. true, all the rich histories are indeed very interesting...