Before & After: Phnom Penh

September 26, 2018

“So, what did you think of the place”?

“Did it live up to the hype”?

“What’s so special about it”?

“Was it worth it”?


These are all the common questions you get asked if you have just returned from a destination that someone else is interested in going to, or when you want to share and compare your experiences with people who have already been.  You turn into a human version of Google and are tasked with helping people to make their minds up about visiting as well.


This is something new I want to try and that I've not seen a lot of on other travel blogs, most only briefly mentioning their passing thoughts in a sentence or two.


I want to, as much for myself as you guys, to dedicate a post for each of my new trips on my first impressions and opinions of what I'm guessing the destination will be like, versus what it’s actually like. I also thought it would be interesting to prove or dispel any myths and misconceptions along the way too.


Hopefully, this will help any of you who are thinking of visiting the same places as me to gain some personal insight as opposed to just Googling it all. Plus it will be fun to look back on if I ever revisit these places and see what changes.


So, how is this going to work?


Each time I’m going to share with you my initial thoughts on the country, city, or island that I’m visiting for the first time. These will most likely be the extent of my knowledge for the place because I don’t really like to do pre-trip research, going in blind until I need to know where something is or how I get from A to B once I’m already at C.


Once I’m home I’ll let you know how that matches up – or doesn’t with real life. 



Before Thoughts: Cambodia

  • Cambodia is just one big jungle filled with crumbling temples oozing mystery in the old-fashioned adventure movie way.

  • They had a distressingly brutal 4-year Genocide at the closing years of the Vietnam War.

  • I feel its just ¼ of the glorified Asia backpacker route (Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia), and for this reason, I've never felt compelled to see it (how ridiculous is my brain).


Before Thoughts: Phnom Penh

  • The second-rate city to Siem Reap

  • It’s nothing special because I’ve never heard about it whenever I see articles on Cambodia (again, stupid logic).

  • It’s just a base to take trips to learn about the genocide and killing fields.

  • It’s on the riverside, but I don’t know what to expect, I don’t think it's going to be built up or modern.


Any Misconceptions? 

  • It’s just like in Thailand and Vietnam, they eat bugs, I’ll be seeing stalls of deep fried critters everywhere I go.

  • It’s a poor country that’s really underdeveloped and basic.

  • Cambodian food is an unidentifiable mix of other countries’ cuisines.



So there it is the inner workings of my mind and messed up logic. Please remember that there are many more myths, clichés and misconceptions, I’m only mentioning the ones I hear a lot about, or that I’m aware of. 


I’ll be back in a week to let you know what I learned!

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