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A minor rant about PP in 2015 ...


MrWorldwide

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If I cycle around PP as my main form of transport, I suppose tuk tuk and taxi drivers won't talk with me? Works out nicely here in Thai.

Doesn't work in Cambodia. I have cycled regularly in PP and SR... and they'll still ask as though the bike's invisible. Can't be hassled by taxi drivers though - Cambodia doesn't really have any roaming the streets.

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This thread came back at a perfect time. I'm in Siem Reap and tomorrow returning to Thailand where I will stay. Four trips to SR in the last 15 months and I just could not pull the trigger on moving to Cambodia for pretty much all the reasons listed above over the last half year or so. I lived in PP before, by the way, but would not live there now because it's gone out of control. (Would you want try to go to the airport when the Boo Young project and Lion Mall project come onstream on Russian Blvd.? No way, even with the new flyover.)

Individually, I like the Khmer people and I like the fact foreigners can work on their businesses first-hand because you get a much better experience at bars, restaurants and other businesses owned by barangs. In Thailand this is almost impossible. There are many great restaurants in SR and PP.

If I left Thailand, I would be giving up a lot of positive things: better infrastructure, somewhat cleaner environment, impressive variety and quality of food and meal ingredients, dependable, inexpensive and better quality accommodation, better banking services (ATM money transfers and easy transfer between banks), and no matter your experiences, a clear and wide ranging visa system that does take care of retirees (whereas in Cambodia, still no one knows if an Ordinary visa holder has to get a work permit).

Here's what happened to me in the first 3 hours in SR: 1. My pre-booked top-end taxi was damaged in the afternoon by a fleeing drunk motorcycle driver who t-boned the car while it was parked downtown and it had to be taken out of service. BTW, same price as a tuktuk! 2. The immigration officer who processed me found a loose receipt in my passport and literally flipped it at me in the air. By a fluke, the paper landed on his counter. When I checked my stamp, as I always do, I couldn't find the "in" stamp. Then I found he skipped four blank pages, stamped it upside down and in the middle of a blank page. I questioned him but he said "no problem". They're a quietly surly bunch. (Later a Khmer native told me how when she arrived one time, she heard an officer say very rude and disgusting things in Khmer to a tourist). 3. My booked hotel double room did not have a fridge and in fact no rooms had fridges in the entire hotel, including my planned upgrade $30/night "Deluxe" room. I stayed one night but the TV remote didn't work, the mosquitoes had a party, there was nowhere to put my laptop or butt for some internet therapy, my late afternoon coffee and other empty meal plates on the entrance terrace were still there when I got home at 10 pm despite countless staff passing toward the front desk.

Last, it's stinking hot in SR at the best of times. But none of the bars I visited bothered to chill the beer glass, except one (Silk Gardens), before serving, including one serving in which the glass had clearly just come out of the warm rinse water.

This is Cambodia. But it's not for me.

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If I cycle around PP as my main form of transport, I suppose tuk tuk and taxi drivers won't talk with me? Works out nicely here in Thai.

Doesn't work in Cambodia. I have cycled regularly in PP and SR... and they'll still ask as though the bike's invisible. Can't be hassled by taxi drivers though - Cambodia doesn't really have any roaming the streets.

True, I've been hit up for a tuk-tuk on the riverside in Phnom Penh after getting out my car! Just to go to the ATM! Did the tuk-tuk drivers not see me driving or think I would be so daft as to park at that location to use their services? Normally if I'm going to be at a restaurant or otherwise not driving for a while I'll find a good place to park near the palace one street behind the riverfront and then walk everywhere I need to go. If I'm heading somewhere further out that's too far to walk, I'll walk back to my car (even if it takes 15-20 mins) and then drive to said location. However, for the most part, most parts of the riverfront are walkable within about 10-15 mins or less.

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