On our first few days in Phnom Penh, we took our time seeing the sights. We were somewhat disappointed when we were turned away from visiting the Royal Palace due to our scanty attire (you’re supposed to cover your shoulders and knees). We just came back the next day. It was beautiful, unlike any architecture I’ve ever seen before.
We also walked along the riverfront, which is the main tourist destination with many hotels and restaurants. My favourite hangout was the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, which has two upper floor terraces with sweeping views. I spent my last afternoon in Phnom Penh sitting in one of their comfy leather armchairs, reading “The Comedians” by Graham Greene. In the heat, with the fan spinning overhead, and the dark woodwork, it was easy to imagine I was in the colonial hotel in Port-au-Prince where Greene’s dark comedy is set.
Nearby we found a secondhand bookstore where I purchased another Greene novel, this time set in Vietnam, called “The Quiet American.” Also on the reading list is “First they Killed my Father,” the autobiography of a woman who lived through the Khmer Rouge as a child.