Jump to content

A minor rant about PP in 2015 ...


MrWorldwide

Recommended Posts

1. Curiousity is a normal thing and in people who haven't been taught that it might be rude, it's directly expressed. I like, as the Kaobai said, that. Honesty is not something to be sneered at. It's the same pretty much everywhere in the region, including rural Thailand.

2. I love Khmer people, unlike in the Land of Crocodile Smiles, they are genuinely friendly and kind. Sadly, give it another 10 years or so and the behaviour of spoiled expats and tourists will lead to the locals hating us just like they do in Thailand.

3. I find that most Thais are incredibly immature and it makes it difficult to bond with them. I find that Khmer, on the other hand, are far less likely to pitch a fit over nothing.

4. Every city of any size in the world has places you'd be better off not going and every city of any size has beggars (they even have them in Riyadh where it's 60 degrees in the shade)

5. I find learning Khmer near impossible whereas I found learning Thai to be much easier... that most Khmer speak good English is a genuine bonus.

6. No-one moves to eat Western food but after 10-12 years of alien cuisine, it's nice to eat comfort food every now and again. This is true for Asian folks who move to Europe or America too... they don't land and suddenly refused to eat Lok Lak or Pad Thai because there's a McD's on every corner.

7. I was asked for $3 in Poipet once... I said no. They said OK. It did not leave me feeling violated. If I'd have had $3 in change... I'd probably have given it to them. Why get flustered about $3?

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Replies 94
  • Created
  • Last Reply

"1. One thing you find is Khmers are nosy, staring inside your wallet and grocery bags. One time I and a foreigner who was selling his motorcycle to me huddled together on the sidewalk only to have a moto taxi guy jump right up beside us to stare and listen. Looks like Cambodia is really the place to feel comfortable,NOT?"

This is one thing that can be quite off-putting.

"2 . I like the Khmer people a lot. I find them curious, Yeah you made that clear in your first point."

The context was positive characteristics, which would include asking questions if something was unfamiliar or not understood.

"3. I think it more likely I will make friends with a Khmer long before I could with a Thai. Can't really comment on that, because my experience is that itis an Asian thing, and last time I checked Cambodia was in Asia."

Every country within Asia is wholly unique. Just being in Asia does not mean they're homogenous in any way, shape or form.

"4. Really the place one want to live if you have to choose which side of the town you can go and which not, makes living there really comfortable. I can't remember when I was harassed by a beggar in Thailand last time."

Like anywhere you land, you ask local expats about the lesser and better places to stay.

"5. It's a known fact that Thailand has the poorest English skills in the region, but I doubt that is a reason to move."

The references to English aptitude was not in the context of moving anywhere. It was in the context of communicating and making friends with people who apparently studied English for years. The Khmers are enthusiastic talkers.

"6. I didn't move to an Asian country because I wanted to eat Western food. however I also like Western food now and then, I know that wherever I move it will be eating the local kitchen or stay where I am."

You are assuming incorrectly that people might choose Cambodia for the western food. There's a wide variety there, as Sheryl pointed out., including good Khmer and Thai food. I assume people moving to Cambodia have several more interesting reasons or simply want a new adventure.

"7. I've never been asked for money on any Thai border either, but I know that people who put money in their passport voluntary have something to hide."

Not at all. It just shortens the page-turning and long pauses (Viets are good at this) and hurries up the stamp, which is going to be given anyway. For contrast, Thai immigration officials are paid bonuses for the number of people they process. So the government is, in essence, bribing ifs officials. The Cambodian officials just do their jobs efficiently, as I learned later. The Viets however are a different story. Money moves stamp hands.

Link to post
Share on other sites

...... if you have to choose which side of the town you can go and which not..

We are not talking about whole "side of town".

The areas with touts/beggars are extremely small in size. >98% of the city is just fine. It is simply avoiding the real tourist traps if you don't want vendors, beggars and the like. Same is true in Bangkok.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You must be right ! This country is perfect and this is why it's the number 1 tourist destination in the region and where all foreigners living in South east Asia want to live ! So clear ! I should have been thinking about it before as millions others...

It's funny how people see and thing to understand what they dream about, but I prefer to just see the facts !

No one is suggesting Cambodia is "perfect". There are no perfect places on this earth. It has its pros and cons like most other places. We are just trying to help a new arrival get the most out of it.

I do not get the impression from your posts that you have spent much time in Cambodia. You also seem to live a very sheltered life in Thailand with little interaction with ordinary Thais, given that you say that every single one you know speaks English and that even your maid does. You are largely missing out on the actual people and culture, in both countries. Not a criticism - you may be fine with that, some people are - but should keep that in mind when making generalizations about either place.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's worth noting that Siem Reap is in fact the second best tourist destination in the world after Morocco... so it is the number 1 tourist destination in the region. (Source: TripAdvisor - Top Destinations in 2015) Bangkok's visitor numbers are in decline... Cambodia's are growing...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I agree that I am not interested in people from whom I have nothing to learn or who are not directly useful to my life, and sorry I didn't find anybody useful about anything in Cambodia, just hassle, hassle, hassle, and terrible people to see everywhere I go... Sad for them but it's hopeless. Anyway people who move to Cambodia mostly are people who cannot stay in Thailand for some reasons, so sorry, no envy, and I anyway prefer Laos where people are a lot more friendly and not nosy at all...

Link to post
Share on other sites

A post in violation of the following forum rule has been removed:

1) You will not express disrespect of the King of Thailand or any one member of the Thai royal family, whether living or deceased, nor to criticize the monarchy as an institution.
By law, the Thai Royal Family are above politics. Speculation, comments and discussion of either a political or personal nature are not allowed when discussing HM The King or the Royal family.
Discussion of the Lese Majeste law or Lese Majeste cases is permitted on the forum, providing no comment or speculation is made referencing the royal family.
To breach these rules may result in immediate ban.
Linking to external sites which break these rules will be treated as if you yourself posted them.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure how many have been out past Nagaworld to check out the new development on Diamond Island - its new to me, at any rate - clearly, millions are being pumped into creating a side of Phnom Penh that you just wont see from riverside. Not sure that the massive reception/convention centre will win any design awards but overall its a welcome change from the grimier sections of the inner city. Clearly, not everyone was overjoyed when developers took over the island but that's the way it goes in most cities. I guess some might consider it all a bit twee - something akin to the themed developments in China - but I thought the amusement park filled with Khmer kids and their parents was great.

https://www.cambodiadaily.com/archives/koh-pich-awash-with-development-but-dont-ask-for-details-36411/

venue.jpg

38085670.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...

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.

Good advice. I would also add it's now becoming easier than ever to get change - just walk into any Caltex service station with minimart attached, or go to another minimart, bank (obviously) or shopping mall such as the new Aeon plaza. I wouldn't try breaking larger notes on the street - but at a legitimate chain store where most customers are middle or upper class, no problems.

Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Curiousity is a normal thing and in people who haven't been taught that it might be rude, it's directly expressed. I like, as the Kaobai said, that. Honesty is not something to be sneered at. It's the same pretty much everywhere in the region, including rural Thailand.

2. I love Khmer people, unlike in the Land of Crocodile Smiles, they are genuinely friendly and kind. Sadly, give it another 10 years or so and the behaviour of spoiled expats and tourists will lead to the locals hating us just like they do in Thailand.

3. I find that most Thais are incredibly immature and it makes it difficult to bond with them. I find that Khmer, on the other hand, are far less likely to pitch a fit over nothing.

4. Every city of any size in the world has places you'd be better off not going and every city of any size has beggars (they even have them in Riyadh where it's 60 degrees in the shade)

5. I find learning Khmer near impossible whereas I found learning Thai to be much easier... that most Khmer speak good English is a genuine bonus.

6. No-one moves to eat Western food but after 10-12 years of alien cuisine, it's nice to eat comfort food every now and again. This is true for Asian folks who move to Europe or America too... they don't land and suddenly refused to eat Lok Lak or Pad Thai because there's a McD's on every corner.

7. I was asked for $3 in Poipet once... I said no. They said OK. It did not leave me feeling violated. If I'd have had $3 in change... I'd probably have given it to them. Why get flustered about $3?

1. I haven't found any particular curiosity aimed my way when in Cambodia anymore than in any other SE Asian country. If anything, curiosity in Vietnam has been at it's highest relative to every other SE Asian country I've been to, despite hosting more tourists than Cambodia but as a larger country with a larger population, tourists are more likely to be concentrated in the tourist cities rather than just anywhere. I've seen foreigners in places I never expected like outside of Kampot in southern Cambodia, but it's rare to see a tourist in rural Vietnam, hence the different reactions I guess.

2. Hopefully that will never happen. It depends on the attitudes of foreigners and how much they upset the locals though. Even in Thailand, I don't feel that locals are looking at foreigners and thinking "we hate you". Nope...the average Thai doesn't judge a random foreigner with a preconceived sense of hatred like that - besides, the average Thai has had no reason to form a negative stereotype either as most haven't even had much interaction with foreigners other than perhaps giving out directions or something. Well, maybe in some bar areas where they have had their fair share of problems. But for those of us who don't even know where the nearest bar is and lead ordinary lives and are far more likely to be walking inside an air-conditioned shopping mall than a bar street, it's the same now as it's always been. Maybe less curiosity than in the past, but since I'm not a celebrity and I'm not 16 anymore, that's a good thing I think because just like everyone else who goes to the mall, I just want to go about my business shopping or eating then go home.

3. Even though I speak fluent Thai, I agree. Many Thais are quite immature and even if you can speak their language you'll find the conversation doesn't necessarily become more "intellectual". This could be because many Thais are not particularly interested in issues outside their immediate surroundings, so you won't find them talking about these things, hence why you might find some of them to be "immature". There are of course always exceptions to this, particularly middle aged and older Thais (mostly male businessmen) who can be incredibly knowledgeable on certain matters. But overall, I agree that Khmers are more likely to talk to you about the "serious" issues like for example a taxi driver from Phnom Penh airport who talked to me in detail about the then Thai-Cambodia border conflict centered near Preah Vihear without turning overly nationalistic or angry, but he articulated his viewpoints very well. Interestingly, some of the most interesting conversations I have had in Thailand have also been with taxi drivers, but again the minimum age of these drivers seems to be in their mid-forties. Younger drivers generally don't have anything to talk about.

4. True. Some naive expats believe that cities like Bangkok are "so incredibly safe" compared to their home countries you can just walk anywhere at any time of day or night, even if you're female without worry. Ummm...no. I would never walk through the shanty towns of say Khlong Toey at anytime of day...the only place you'll find me anywhere near there is in my car, driving past it. Similarly, some parts of Sukhumvit make me shudder. As a foreigner in a non-multicultural country I'm also hyper aware of my physical appearance at times, and as such don't feel comfortable walking through places where even ordinary Thais wouldn't go. In general I drive...never walk, just like the Thais. In Cambodia it's pretty much the same thing for me - walking in the touristy parts of town is fine, elsewhere I drive from point to point. As a tourist I would either rent a vehicle and drive myself or find a reliable local driver.

5. That's weird because Khmer is much easier than Thai since it's not a tonal language. Given my fluent Thai, I have been able to pickup on various Khmer words that are the same or similar to Thai, for example words that originate from Sanskrit or Pali. Consider "waen-ta" or แว่นตา in Thai, which means glasses, such as eyeglasses or sunglasses (although technically like in English, sunglasses can be differentiated from eyeglasses by the addition of a descriptive noun, which means sun). In Khmer, they use exactly the same word, "waen-ta". Cool, huh? Same with "ministry" which is "krasuang" in both languages. Some numbers are similar, such as 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90. In Thai, 30 is "saam-sip", whereas in Khmer it's "saam-suep", 40 is "sii-sip" in Thai, "sii-suep" in Khmer and so on. One hundred in Thai is "roy" or "neung-roy" in Khmer "roy" or "muy-roy". Numbers are written exactly the same in Khmer as in Thai, when traditional numbers are used (which is more commonly the case in Cambodia than in Thailand). But you're right - Khmers speak much better English than Thais - it's sometimes weird being told how much to pay by a Caltex cashier in English in Phnom Penh whereas even in fairly touristy parts of Bangkok everyone is told their total in Thai (which for me makes me feel a bit more inclusive, as I don't like being treated like some foreigner who just got off the plane yesterday - but I realize there are plenty of tourists and expats, most of whom speak absolutely no Thai at all).

6. If you're saying you don't move to Cambodia (or Thailand or any other Asian country) for the western food you'd be right because we're not in the west. Just as one doesn't seek out Asian food and avoid western food when in the west. In general, one should try and eat the local food most of the time with western food being eaten at times (and vice versa if you're an Asian tourist or resident in the west). However, there's nothing wrong with choosing to live in, or visit Phnom Penh because it has decent western food compared to say, I dunno Ban Lung, which may not have a single western restaurant. In fact, every time I visit Phnom Penh I visit my usual western food haunts because they're so good (in my opinion anyway) such as SwissfoodCam (I'm not going to find any decent or indeed any Swiss food anywhere near me in Thailand at a reasonable price) and Freebird on 240 Street. The latter I tend to go to more often than the Swiss food place but occasionally I like to eat a roesti or something, which at less than US$5 is quite good value.

7. Well you could have offered and paid only US$1. Bargaining is ubiquitous in Cambodia, just like most other countries in Asia. Never accept the first "price" quoted. But you were right not to pay anything at all.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm agreeing with a lot of stuff posted by TheSiemReaper and Sheryl. I have lived in Cambodia and visited 4-5 times a year. And am looking forward to leaving Thailand and living in Cambodia again.

1. Money. I not only carry small stuff all the time and if I don't have it, immediately change some. I go so far as to pre-load my payment for most things. I don't like to stand on the street or market fumbling with my wallet or show what's in it. One thing you find is Khmers are nosy, staring inside your wallet and grocery bags. One time I and a foreigner who was selling his motorcycle to me huddled together on the sidewalk only to have a moto taxi guy jump right up beside us to stare and listen.

2. I like the Khmer people a lot. I find them curious, determined, hard working, friendly, willing to listen to instructions and the "why" of things, and polite.

3. I think it more likely I will make friends with a Khmer long before I could with a Thai. In fact, I think the latter is almost impossible because their culture precludes befriending foreigners and they don't understand what friendship means. To say nothing of the fact, their English is deplorable despite years of language "schooling".

4. Interesting theory about foreigner radar, Sheryl. I like it. I have been pretty much ignored by tuk tuk drivers and beggars now for the last couple of years. Of course, I never NEVER go the riverside. Once I'm safely on the west side of say, St. 13, I'm just another pedestrian. This mostly does not work in Thailand where I'm just another monied white face, hit upon by greeters and vendors.

5. I am astounded at how hard even poorer Khmer try to learn English or learn a trade. I second the details given above, but I knew a girl with three jobs AND learned English on the side. I'm not making this up.

6. I agree with Sheryl and Mr WW that the everyday western food in Cambodia is far superior to anything I've had in Thailand. It's one of the things I miss living (not by choice) in Thailand.

7. Last, I've never been asked for money by Cambodian immigration, direct or indirect, airport or land crossing. A couple of times on the Koh Kong/Chaem Yaek border point and the Mekong Cambo-VN crossover, I slid a bit of US money in my passport but both times it was returned without comment.

3. I don't think most Thais would think negatively about befriending a foreigner, but often there just isn't much common ground and the language issue mostly gets in the way. I also feel that many Thais, after a certain age at least, no longer make a special effort to meet each other and be friends, even amongst Thais themselves. Once they start working, most Thais limit socializing to eating lunch and occasionally dinner together with their work colleagues but nobody goes to their friends places to "crash" and few people do things together like going to the beach or something more exciting than just eating at some boring chain restaurant in a shopping mall and posting pics of what they ate on Facebook. People also tend to lose touch with previous friends from high school or university if they don't happen to live very close by.

After they get married, most Thais are focused on family, family and more family and even eating out with friends tends to go out the window. It's a stark contrast to the almost daily meetings consisting of eating together, going out clubbing, even perhaps going on trips together that Thai university students are used to. Even neighbors don't speak to each other much I've noticed. My neighbors all lead their own private lives and don't even say hi to each other. Maybe in the countryside people are a bit more social, but in the cities (and I live in a house, not a condo BTW) neighbors rarely even interact with each other. It can be a lonely life here and you got to make the effort to meet people here because otherwise people aren't going to warm up to you - it's not really part of their culture it seems. In the west, university students are often too busy to make regular plans with friends because they usually also have to work part-time alongside study, unlike most Thai students. But later in life, once we start working we make time for our friends and thus our social lives don't go out the window like they seem to in Thailand.

4. I highly doubt you would be any more likely to be "hit up" in more developed Thailand outside of a tourist area. Probably you have been going to Sukhumvit road and people were still trying to rip you off on soi 37 yet you thought your were outside of the expat/tourist zone. Errr...wrong. The expat/tourist zones in Bangkok are very big. Try going to Minburi, Rangsit, Nong Chok, Ladkrabang, Bang Khae etc. and testing your theory. I just don't believe anyone would treat you as anything other than a pedestrian in those parts of town either, and most people have busy lives to lead without getting jumpy about some random "white face" walking down the street when they wouldn't be expecting to see you anyway. Besides, Thailand is much richer than Cambodia and your presence isn't going to enrich very many people's lives. If anything I'd expect that to happen in Cambodia not Thailand.

Link to post
Share on other sites

to all

give up the illusion u will ever be anything BUT a TOURSIT

speak the language, marry, have a family, job, build a home etc etc

ur still white an all they see is the color of your skin and with that they know ur not a local

as far as learning to speak khmer WHY??

less than 16 million ( or .24% of the worlds population speak it)

better off learning Chinese 14%

or English 5+%

Simply not true. Of course, they know you are not Khmer, but they also know you are not a tourist. There is a category of "foreigners who really live here" and they are well accepted. In my experience, it is possible to integrate more completely in Cambodia than in Thailand.

As to why learn Khmer - obviously, only if you plan to live in Cambodia, but if so, this is crucial to the aforementioned integration, which in turn renders life vastly more pleasant and rewarding. Enables you to have genuine close Khmer friends and to communicate with the average person as opposed to only the subset who speak English well. Makes a huge difference.

The Khmer have an amazing radar for foreigners. Somehow, they can instantly tell a resident from a tourist, even before the person has said a word. I don't know how they do it, but they do. I walk into a shop or restaurant and they instantly speak to me in Khmer, knowing I will understand it, even though they have never seen me before. Touts, tuk tuks etc automatically ignore me. I don't find this to be true in Thailand.

Phuketrichard, for English my unscientific analysis says that you can get by with English with perhaps 50% of the world's population. Far, far more than just 5% of the world's population can speak English, I think you were counting only native speakers and even neglected India, where English is an official language and the main language of the elite in that country i.e. Indians actually speak English with each other, not just with foreigners like in say Thailand.

Excellent post Sheryl.

If people can tell you apart from the tourists it shows that not only do they care, but they are not so racist or discriminatory to lump every foreigner into the same category. I find that in many places I go in Thailand people will automatically speak Thai to me, but I feel it may be more of a reflection of their inability to speak English than assuming I live in Thailand and can actually speak the language (which I can). Of course as soon as I open my mouth, any concerns about not being able to communicate with me are dispelled, but I do feel at times I need to "make it known" that I can speak the language before people will take me out of the "permanent tourist" category so to speak.

It's refreshing to read that it's different in Cambodia. As many times as I've been there, as I don't speak more than a few words of Khmer I can't vouch for how true that is, but there have been two cases of me saying "seis day" or "chom riap sua" i.e. saying hello in Khmer, once in Koh Kong and another time in Phnom Penh to two different taxi drivers which prompted an immediate fluent Khmer speaking reaction. I felt bad that I couldn't actually understand much of what they were saying but once that became clear they switched to English, but I appreciate that I wasn't stereotyped as some "dumb foreigner" who no way in a million years could speak the local language, as if it was rocket science which we know it isn't. And BTW both taxi drivers could speak very good English, much better than any ordinary Thai citizen you would meet on the street. In Thailand it occasionally takes a lot more effort than just saying one word to get people to "click" and no, my Thai isn't that heavily accented bar stool 3 word version that most expats speak. I actually speak with a sort of Thai accent and can say just about anything in Thai. And no, I'm not a "luk-khreung" or a Thai who grew up in the west either. I just learned the language the way anyone should and am able to speak it fluently.

Laos is also quite similar. Whereas in Thailand I occasionally get a cashier who doesn't say anything (even speaking English would be better than saying nothing) when it comes time for payment, in Laos I am always spoken to in Lao (which I understand and speak as it's similar to Thai) without question. In tourist areas English may sometimes be offered initially, but aside from that, it's Lao and never silence like sometimes in Thailand, which is just plain rude if you ask me.

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...

And yet in the rich, developed USA all you can get out of an ATM is a $20 bill? Kind of weird that...I think Khmer ATMs should only dispense $10 and $20 notes. They certainly wouldn't be dispensing $1 or $5 bills, come on, very few places in the world dispense such low value bills you wouldn't even be able to withdraw $100 if that was the case not to mention you wouldn't be able to fit those bills into your wallet.

I agree with the previous poster that it is a bit weird for such a poor country to dispense such large notes. $100 is what many Cambodians make in a month - as ATMs only appeared in Cambodia in 2006, I hardly think most locals would be withdrawing such large amounts of money at a time. Also, don't forget the many rural ATMs now - try getting change for a $100 bill in Pailin or Battambang not as easy as you think.

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...

And yet in the rich, developed USA all you can get out of an ATM is a $20 bill? Kind of weird that...I think Khmer ATMs should only dispense $10 and $20 notes. They certainly wouldn't be dispensing $1 or $5 bills, come on, very few places in the world dispense such low value bills you wouldn't even be able to withdraw $100 if that was the case not to mention you wouldn't be able to fit those bills into your wallet.

I agree with the previous poster that it is a bit weird for such a poor country to dispense such large notes. $100 is what many Cambodians make in a month - as ATMs only appeared in Cambodia in 2006, I hardly think most locals would be withdrawing such large amounts of money at a time. Also, don't forget the many rural ATMs now - try getting change for a $100 bill in Pailin or Battambang not as easy as you think.

I don't know about Pailin but I just spent a week in Battambang and managed to get change for each and every one of the $100 notes I took with me without any hassles whatsoever. Cambodia's changing. The days of shock at large bills in cities is long done. If they don't have change, they just dispense a runner to fetch some... I remember when I first arrived in Siem Reap there was always a fuss when you paid with $100. It hasn't happened to me in 2 years now.

It's the low salaries that suggest that it would be sensible to stock your ATMs with low denomination bills but the problem is the rapid emptying of machines. $100 bills suit me fine. I tend to withdraw cash in multiple units of $100 at a time... and I hate having a wallet so full that it starts to deform quickly (which is what small change always does to my wallets).

Link to post
Share on other sites

The ATMs I use are ANZ and FTB. Both dispense 10, 20, 50 and $100 bills and I would expect most ATMs to be the same. What mix of bills you get depends on the amount you key in. If it is a large amount and rounded to the nearest 100 then you may get only or mostly 100s. Try withdrawing smaller amounts and make it X80 in amount.

For breaking a 50 or 100 bill, I usually just buy a $20 phone card. Not only is this an easy way to get change right on the street, but I then always have one on hand when phone balance gets low.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Sorry, sheryl and TSR - its back to Oz for me. From the roads to the cops to the non-existent road rules (or complete lack of enforcement of rules that might save liives), I'm blown away by the contrast between the generosity and good nature of individual Khmers vs what PP is becoming - a gridlocked nightmare. There is definitely anti-Viet and anti-Chinese sentiment here, but my paranoia aside, common sense tells me they cant keep jamming more poor people from the provinces into PP without total gridlock. Put people in that dogfight everyday, continue to ratchet up the cost of living and I think most here know where that will lead.

I'm glad I had this experience - Thaiiland sheltered me from a lot of realities of life in this region but this has opened my eyes. Most Khmers seem to be great people overall, but I have grave fears for their future. Even Jakarta seems to have more in the way of future planning and development - that doesnt happen by building more 5-star hotels and convention centres, sadly. Whatever money is being pumped into this city seems to be swallowed up by a select few - happy to hear otherwise.

Bon voyage and good luck.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to see you leave Mr WW. I have always enjoyed your posts.

I agree with you about the Khmer people.

The things that annoyed me most about Cambodia

were the moto & Tuk Tuk drivers and how they hassle everyone

My next pet hate would be how they all park on the footpath.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, sheryl and TSR - its back to Oz for me. From the roads to the cops to the non-existent road rules (or complete lack of enforcement of rules that might save liives), I'm blown away by the contrast between the generosity and good nature of individual Khmers vs what PP is becoming - a gridlocked nightmare. There is definitely anti-Viet and anti-Chinese sentiment here, but my paranoia aside, common sense tells me they cant keep jamming more poor people from the provinces into PP without total gridlock. Put people in that dogfight everyday, continue to ratchet up the cost of living and I think most here know where that will lead.

I'm glad I had this experience - Thaiiland sheltered me from a lot of realities of life in this region but this has opened my eyes. Most Khmers seem to be great people overall, but I have grave fears for their future. Even Jakarta seems to have more in the way of future planning and development - that doesnt happen by building more 5-star hotels and convention centres, sadly. Whatever money is being pumped into this city seems to be swallowed up by a select few - happy to hear otherwise.

Bon voyage and good luck.

Good luck to you too. Though I don't live in PP because I don't like it that much either. Siem Reap's been home for a few years but I think I shall be moving on to Thailand soon now.

Link to post
Share on other sites

my pet peeve in Cambodia and why i choose to remain in Thailand, is the beggars everywhere and not being able to enjoy a meal outside without being bothered and this is everywhere i have been in the country ( although Battambang was the least bothersome)

and the total disregard for cleaning anything up ( much worse than Thailand and for sure Laos)

another was walking in PP or SR an being hit on every 10 seconds for a tuk tuk

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.

9 years living and working in Cambodia and I've never had any real grief with anything. Not with Immigration, work permits, visas, Tuk Tuk's or anything else.

As Sheryl said previously, if you go to the riverside or around the bar areas, expect hassle. That's the same anywhere. Bangkok - "Tuk Tuk massage" and "You like lady" at every turn. I also haven't been to the riverside in a long time. As for the bar scene, after more than 30 years all over Asia - yawn. I live a happy and quiet life in Phnom Penh. Indeed it's dirty in places, but there's a lot more to t than that and ultimately it's what you make it.

That said, as always, one man/woman's meat is anothers poison......

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

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.

9 years living and working in Cambodia and I've never had any real grief with anything. Not with Immigration, work permits, visas, Tuk Tuk's or anything else.

As Sheryl said previously, if you go to the riverside or around the bar areas, expect hassle. That's the same anywhere. Bangkok - "Tuk Tuk massage" and "You like lady" at every turn. I also haven't been to the riverside in a long time. As for the bar scene, after more than 30 years all over Asia - yawn. I live a happy and quiet life in Phnom Penh. Indeed it's dirty in places, but there's a lot more to t than that and ultimately it's what you make it.

That said, as always, one man/woman's meat is anothers poison......

It's not what you make it. It's a dirty city, garbage all over, people selling their kids for sex on the main drag, corruption all over...

so it's more like your denying it....

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.

9 years living and working in Cambodia and I've never had any real grief with anything. Not with Immigration, work permits, visas, Tuk Tuk's or anything else.

As Sheryl said previously, if you go to the riverside or around the bar areas, expect hassle. That's the same anywhere. Bangkok - "Tuk Tuk massage" and "You like lady" at every turn. I also haven't been to the riverside in a long time. As for the bar scene, after more than 30 years all over Asia - yawn. I live a happy and quiet life in Phnom Penh. Indeed it's dirty in places, but there's a lot more to t than that and ultimately it's what you make it.

That said, as always, one man/woman's meat is anothers poison......

It's not what you make it. It's a dirty city, garbage all over, people selling their kids for sex on the main drag, corruption all over...

so it's more like your denying it....

Anywhere is what you make it. 20 years in the army taught me that. If you don't like it, that's up to you. I don't deny it, I deal with it. Living and working here for me personally is preferable to Thailand. My wife who is Khmer and the people I work with are my trump card. I worked 13 years with a Thai company and that doesn't even begin to compare.

But as I said, and always do, one man's meat......

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.

9 years living and working in Cambodia and I've never had any real grief with anything. Not with Immigration, work permits, visas, Tuk Tuk's or anything else.

As Sheryl said previously, if you go to the riverside or around the bar areas, expect hassle. That's the same anywhere. Bangkok - "Tuk Tuk massage" and "You like lady" at every turn. I also haven't been to the riverside in a long time. As for the bar scene, after more than 30 years all over Asia - yawn. I live a happy and quiet life in Phnom Penh. Indeed it's dirty in places, but there's a lot more to t than that and ultimately it's what you make it.

That said, as always, one man/woman's meat is anothers poison......

It's not what you make it. It's a dirty city, garbage all over, people selling their kids for sex on the main drag, corruption all over...

so it's more like your denying it....

Inefficient/inadequate garbage collection yes (though there are certainly upscale areas that are cleaner than the image you invoke).

Widespread corruption, definitely, no exception there/

But "people selling their kids for sex on the main drag" ?? Hardly. BTW what do you consider to be "the main drag"? No such thing happening on what by any reasonable definition would be considered the main streets of the capital (Monivong, Norodom, Mao Tse Tung, Pochentung etc). Which is not to say child sex does not happen, it does. Just as it does in Thailand, the Philippines and many other places. But as in those places it is mostly behind doors in red light districts and in tourist ghettos, especially tourist areas that cater to sexpats.

You can live for years on end in normal parts of the city and never see such a thing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sheryl, I do not think that the criminal phenomenon you address is limited to the expat scene. In PP until about 9-10 years ago it was an almost regular occurrence to see SUVs picking up underage girls. These were not foreigners. Same held true for the KTV scene. The expat factor is an add-on to what was and hopefully is happening much less now. In the case of western foreigners I am hopeful but as for Chinese and Cambodians I cant help that it is business as usual although a bit more concealed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't say it was limited to expats. Just that it is not happening all over the city as the poster stated but rather limited to specific locales...just as it is in Thailand. The red light districts (in which I would include many nightclubs) are mostly frequented by Khmers and Asian foreigners while farang expats have their own bars etc.

Point I am trying to make is that these locales and the places whete many expat visitors limit themselves to are no more typical of Cambodia as a whole than Patpong and Pattaya are of Thailand as a whole.

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.

What tourist would go to PP and hang out anywhere other than the riverfront? I see your point and I am sure if you live there what you are saying is true. However there is little of interest for your casual visitor away from the river... seriously.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Living there is the subject of the thread, not tourism.

Yes, sorry lost track of that. Although living there or visiting the point remains. Saying to avoid the riverside area of PP is like telling people in NYC things are better outside of Manhattan. I lived in PP for awhile and the only fun to be had in the city is on the riverside or areas directly adjoining it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've lived there too and been quite happy without ever going to the riverfront, and know many others for whom this is also the case...in fact most expat residents I know avoid the area. But of course it depends on one's life style. There are many places frequented by resident expats outside the riverfront area.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

Archived

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

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...