Jump to content

A minor rant about PP in 2015 ...


MrWorldwide

Recommended Posts

At the risk of upsetting the longtimers who have doubtlessly endured a great deal here, I'll focus on money. From beggars who look at you with disdain when you hand them riel (I can fix that, friend) to the tuk-tuk guys you know wont give change under any circumstances, what really annoys me here was also a major thorn in my side in Thailand. Everyone WANTS pockets full of the foreigner's small money, but no-one wants to give change for notes as small as $5. This is a poorer country than Thailand, but someone must have some serious cash here - that or there is a massive debt bubble waiting to leave thousands of new cars at the kerb and multi-storey buildings half finished. The gap between the middle class and the poorest Cambodians is sure to get wider, but the former seem happy to eat food prepared by the latter and I assume they dont get the 'hairy eyeball' when they ask for their change. I dont judge the Khmer majority by the beggars or tuk-tuk drivers, but they put a serious dent in the tourist experience here - end rant.

Having vented, I'm off to sample this morning's traffic in beautiful downtown PP :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Replies 94
  • Created
  • Last Reply

You're not gonna return to Pattaya, do you?

Having vented, I'm off to sample this morning's traffic in beautiful downtown PP

They have paved roads in PP lately?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have a nice day.

Thank you. It's warm but not as hot as I expected for this time of year. I'll probably check out S'ville in a day or two but having discovered a decent mid-priced hotel in the middle of the 136th St action I'm in no immediate hurry.

Link to post
Share on other sites

there is a simple solution for the tuktuk problem. Have enough riel banknotes or have the money changers next to the new market break your larger USD. I usually tell them the price i pay and that's it. if the guy wants a discussion he needs another barang for that cos I m off and get a better tuktuk driver. no need to waste time with such smart people.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Even in Thailand, when I leave my apartment, I try to be sure I have enough small bills and change to make up any amount just to battle this kind of small robbery.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone WANTS pockets full of the foreigner's small money, but no-one wants to give change for notes as small as $5.

I've lived in PP. I was aware of the above fact. You are obviously aware of it. I always made sure I had plenty of $1 notes. Why didn't you?

Unfortunately ... if I answered that question ... I'd receive a warning from a mod.

blink.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am also in PP (172 st) after spending last 6 months in Snooky. Beggars are annoying, especially when they walk past Khmers to get to the only the only foreigner they see. I have one old man that comes up to me 5x per day and I have never given anything, not even a word or eye-contact. You think he would get the point. It doesn't matter to him because its his job is to beg. tuk tuk guys are scammers, that is universal. I usually take moto's, and $1-2 is enough to go anywhere. Everyone accepts dollars in PP. it's harder to spend Riel because many upscale places establish their own exchange rate at 4,100 per dollar so when you buy something you end up with the useless 100 riel notes in change. that pisses me off. break large bills at the money changers around the markets.

I have a beer bar across the street that usually has 6 girls sitting out front every night. What I ponder when I look over at them, is that I think about the bar owner who has hired these girls to bring customers into the bar, but the reality is the girls just sit out front all night, eating and talking and doing nothing to bring customers into the bar. When a customer does walk up, they put on their smiles, hoping they can get some barang dollars, but they do nothing to hustle in new customers. A good girl would have regular customers who come to bar to play pool and have a drink but that's not what happens. these girls just put on makeup and sit on their butts looking pretty and waiting and waiting and waiting. They show no initiative at all, putting the very least amount of work into their work, getting by solely based on appearance. Sorry, that was my rant. Don't get me started on Pontoon club. lol.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"I have one old man that comes up to me 5x per day and I have never given anything, not even a word or eye-contact. You think he would get the point. It doesn't matter to him because its his job is to beg."

Perhaps he has severe dementia. Maybe he gets the point 5X a day and forgets just as many. thumbsup.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

My question is...who or what is "PP"...sounds like a strange name for a place. Couldn't find my code breaker book that I usually have beside me when reading many posts on TV...never needed it when people used plain ordinary honest to God....English.

PS. Got it now, was enlightened when I switched back to the index page., memory now not very good, even from the few seconds before opening up the article, has it's advantages though.....I find I have fewer resentments these days.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Went to Cambodia last year & stayed in four resort towns. PP was by far the dirtiest & most unpleasant: garbage everywhere; motor bike thieves attempted to snatch my wife's necklace. We loved Siam Reap.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My brother had his rental scooter stolen there - IIRC it cost him $600 US

But I have really enjoyed my three trips to PP , theres a certain simpleness and lack of sophistication which is refreshing

I never had a problem with Tuk Tuks , $2 0r $3 ( or $8 to the airport - tho that was a taxi ) seemed to cover every trip - if not I walked away like the poster above

After Phuket they were damn cheap

Lovely girls and farang food as well ( and wine!)

I'll go back ,,,,

Link to post
Share on other sites

there is a simple solution for the tuktuk problem. Have enough riel banknotes or have the money changers next to the new market break your larger USD. I usually tell them the price i pay and that's it. if the guy wants a discussion he needs another barang for that cos I m off and get a better tuktuk driver. no need to waste time with such smart people.

1$ actually already has to be considered a large bill. it's RIEL all the way. Yes you WILL need US$ at eateries or drinking places that cater to the BARANG crowd, but apart from that, you can get through with Riel almost everywhere. If a TukTuk driver is not happy with Riel, then wait 5 seconds until the next TukTuk shows up. I always show them exactly what I pay in RIEL, and if they do not like to see RIEL notes, then the case is closed for me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

At the risk of upsetting the longtimers who have doubtlessly endured a great deal here, I'll focus on money. From beggars who look at you with disdain when you hand them riel (I can fix that, friend) to the tuk-tuk guys you know wont give change under any circumstances, what really annoys me here was also a major thorn in my side in Thailand. Everyone WANTS pockets full of the foreigner's small money, but no-one wants to give change for notes as small as $5. This is a poorer country than Thailand, but someone must have some serious cash here - that or there is a massive debt bubble waiting to leave thousands of new cars at the kerb and multi-storey buildings half finished. The gap between the middle class and the poorest Cambodians is sure to get wider, but the former seem happy to eat food prepared by the latter and I assume they dont get the 'hairy eyeball' when they ask for their change. I dont judge the Khmer majority by the beggars or tuk-tuk drivers, but they put a serious dent in the tourist experience here - end rant.

Having vented, I'm off to sample this morning's traffic in beautiful downtown PP :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

At the risk of upsetting the longtimers who have doubtlessly endured a great deal here, I'll focus on money. From beggars who look at you with disdain when you hand them riel (I can fix that, friend) to the tuk-tuk guys you know wont give change under any circumstances, what really annoys me here was also a major thorn in my side in Thailand. Everyone WANTS pockets full of the foreigner's small money, but no-one wants to give change for notes as small as $5. This is a poorer country than Thailand, but someone must have some serious cash here - that or there is a massive debt bubble waiting to leave thousands of new cars at the kerb and multi-storey buildings half finished. The gap between the middle class and the poorest Cambodians is sure to get wider, but the former seem happy to eat food prepared by the latter and I assume they dont get the 'hairy eyeball' when they ask for their change. I dont judge the Khmer majority by the beggars or tuk-tuk drivers, but they put a serious dent in the tourist experience here - end rant.

Having vented, I'm off to sample this morning's traffic in beautiful downtown PP :D

The UN & non government agencies supply all the money to people who should be passing it down to the people but it never gets there. That's why you see all the Lange Rovers and other flash cars around town. With the amount of money that has been given to Cambodia everyone should be a millionaire.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have to say that in 20 years living or spending large amounts of time there, never had either problem. Beggars are only ever given riel, usually very small denominations of it, except for highly touristy locales (at which it is IMO a mistake to give them anything). No problem at all to get change for $5 when buying anything, even vegetables in the local market (though change may well be given all in riel). $10 likewise not usually a problem, and when I need to change large bills ($50, $100) I just buy a phone card.

No problem getting a tuk tuk to change $5 either (though change will be in riel, and $10 on up will be a problem). Motodops, yes. They live very close to the margin, spending most of what they get on fuel and meals, and you cannot expect to get more than 1000-2000 riel in change out of them. It is best to have exact.

Easy enough to change money. Just always keep a supply of riel on you.

Sounds like you are spending time in very touristy areas and are being pegged as a tourist. I strongly advise

(1) Settling in a "normal" part of town, and minimizing your time at the riverfront etc (I haven't been there in years).

(2) Learning to speak at least basic Khmer. This marks you as a local expat as opposed to a tourist/short term visitor and completely changes how most encounters will go.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've lived in Cambodia for 3 years, I keep a large supply of $1 bills... no need for Riel at all. The idea that Riel is the pervasive currency is laughable. USD is fine. I throw all my Riel in a box and once a year take it to the money changer and turn it into USD. If a tuk-tuk driver hasn't got change... make him take you somewhere to get that change and then bring you back (they always will).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am also in PP (172 st) after spending last 6 months in Snooky. Beggars are annoying, especially when they walk past Khmers to get to the only the only foreigner they see. I have one old man that comes up to me 5x per day and I have never given anything, not even a word or eye-contact. You think he would get the point. It doesn't matter to him because its his job is to beg. tuk tuk guys are scammers, that is universal. I usually take moto's, and $1-2 is enough to go anywhere. Everyone accepts dollars in PP. it's harder to spend Riel because many upscale places establish their own exchange rate at 4,100 per dollar so when you buy something you end up with the useless 100 riel notes in change. that pisses me off. break large bills at the money changers around the markets.

I have a beer bar across the street that usually has 6 girls sitting out front every night. What I ponder when I look over at them, is that I think about the bar owner who has hired these girls to bring customers into the bar, but the reality is the girls just sit out front all night, eating and talking and doing nothing to bring customers into the bar. When a customer does walk up, they put on their smiles, hoping they can get some barang dollars, but they do nothing to hustle in new customers. A good girl would have regular customers who come to bar to play pool and have a drink but that's not what happens. these girls just put on makeup and sit on their butts looking pretty and waiting and waiting and waiting. They show no initiative at all, putting the very least amount of work into their work, getting by solely based on appearance. Sorry, that was my rant. Don't get me started on Pontoon club. lol.

hi,

Is the situation the same everywhere in Cambodia ? We can just ignore everybody but they stay around and follow you ?

Sianookville and Siam reap are better ?

Thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dollars are the "paper money" ... Riel are the "coins". Simple as that. In Thailand I throw all my coins for weeks in a bowl and take them down to 7/11 on a Sunday afternoon ...when they are running short of coins. In Cambo... I did the same with Riel. Saved them up till I had a lot...then changed them at the money changer or bank.

Simple.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Snookyville sucks more then pp, to be blunt. Siem reap was the only long term option i found in cambodia.

Sick of the food yet. That will get to you sooner rather then later. As will the touts and tuk tuk guys. I planned b it but did live there about 4 months. Could not wait to get out.

These nasty tuk tuk dudes will wait daily for you to exit your place with their s ** t eating grin, sometimes even coming into the restaurant while your eating to bother people about rides. Others will slowly drive behind you as you walk down the street. They will also grab bags as you enter and exit the hotel without asking.



Watch out for immigration at pp airport. They will ask for bribe money right out in the open even with other travelers around.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It just depends on what you want from life. Phnom Penh is the near perfect environment for those seeking the freedoms of Bangkok 30 years ago and at a much reduced cost; sure it's a big dirty city - it's the capital of a least developed nation, what did you expect? Sihanoukville's not my cup of tea but there are few beach resorts in the world where you can get a year's visa for less than $300 and beer for less than a $1... Siem Reap's home and it's my favourite too but that doesn't mean it's the only viable choice. Kampot, Kep and Battambang are all possibilities too and probably all of them, from my view, are better than PP or SHV but that's because what I want is different from what others want.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was in PP recently and found on the several occasions when I did not have change, and neither did the tuk tuk or m/c driver, they said it's ok, meet me at the drop-off or pick-up point, and pay me later, and I did each time. I'm sure that would never happen in Thailand.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Watch out for immigration at pp airport. They will ask for bribe money right out in the open even with other travelers around.

More than 100 entries through, and another 100+ departures through, PP airport immigration. Never once did this happen to me nor did I ever observe it happen to anyone else.

In fact this is the first time I have heard anyone report it....and I know a lot of people who regularly travel in and out.

So it is definitley not the usual occurrence.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Watch out for immigration at pp airport. They will ask for bribe money right out in the open even with other travelers around.

More than 100 entries through, and another 100+ departures through, PP airport immigration. Never once did this happen to me nor did I ever observe it happen to anyone else.

In fact this is the first time I have heard anyone report it....and I know a lot of people who regularly travel in and out.

So it is definitley not the usual occurrence.

I did have an issue with them not stamping my Visa as 'used' upon arrival, even though they did stamp my passport on a different page. I only realized this when I went to get a renewal in town and was denied. I ended up having to go back to the airport, just to get the stamp, as the immigration office in PP refused to help me. I was informed that they would surely force me to pay for the stamp, despite it obviously being their error, as it seemed to be a well-known scam. Fortunately, I knew someone who was married to a relatively high-ranked police officer. They met me at the airport and got me my stamp for free, but it was a major inconvenience for us all. Moral of the story is to always check your stamps on arrival.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Intended to stay at least a couple of weeks in PP...then decide if I wanted to stay longer before moving on to Vietnam...lasted about 5 days...could not walk around without being harassed by either beggars, bicycle taxis, and vendors who are allowed to enter the restaurant and hassle you to buy worthless trinkets...

The girls were beautiful...and pricey...trash everywhere...wind blowing it into piles along with leaves and other debris...

Very sad and poor group of people...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you were at the Riverfront area. The rest of the city is not like that..seriously. Just like Bangkok as a whole is not like lower Sukhumvit Road. (Where you will also be hassled by vendors etc).

I am literally never hassled by beggars, vendors and the like...not ever, and I go all over the place...except the riverfront and other tourist hot spots.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you were at the Riverfront area. The rest of the city is not like that..seriously. Just like Bangkok as a whole is not like lower Sukhumvit Road. (Where you will also be hassled by vendors etc).

I am literally never hassled by beggars, vendors and the like...not ever, and I go all over the place...except the riverfront and other tourist hot spots.

Thanks, Sheryl, and that did occur to me so I moved to the other side of the river. No tuk-tuks, no beggars, no Barang that i can see but sadly no convenience stores either : I guess you have to take the good with the bad but I had hoped for a 'mom and pop' Khmer store at the very least, Throw in the call to prayer from the nearby mosque shortly after 4 and a rooster directly below the hotel and I'd say I'm a little closer to the 'real' Phnom Penh than I might have liked. ;)

If I come across as petulant because I cant see the sense in ATM's dispensing the equivalent of a '3300-baht note' by default in such a poor country, I apologise - you've given a great deal to this forum and I thank you for every keystroke.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The point of the $100 from an ATM is a practical one. ATMs which dispensed nothing but $1 or $5 bills would be empty approximately after the first customer had made a withdrawal. An ATM, on the other hand, stocked wtih $100, $50, $20 and $10 bills has some hope of staying full all day long, as long as it dispenses enough $100 bills. Given that nearly every single business apart from a tuk-tuk or a moto can break a $100 bill in Phnom Penh, I have no idea why you would rant about it.

You don't have to get a long way from the river on the same side to be in a hassle free zone of PP. I lived within a 5 minute walk of the river for nearly 6 months and the only time you get harrassed by tuk-tuk/moto drivers is on the river itself.

And... I do know people who have been asked for bribes at the airport if an extra $1-$2 is worth getting upset about...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...