The popular street-side bars and restaurants that line Wat Botum Park in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district have been told to move out by Tuesday or face eviction, vendors said on Monday.
Just north of the Cambodia-Japan Friendship Bridge, the rust-red boat comes into view: six storeys and 6,000 square metres of unused space floating on the Tonle Sap river.
With its dilapidated look, some might think it was abandoned — or perhaps even an eyesore — but it is this space that organisers plan to transform into Cambodia’s largest collaborative centre dedicated to the contemporary arts.
For an incredible view of still relatively low-rise Phnom Penh, head up 23 store’s to Eclipse Sky Bar, which as of end-2015 is the highest rooftop bar in the capital. The bar sits at the top of the Phnom Penh Tower, which is otherwise home to offices and embassies on Monivong Boulevard, and is found just a 10-minute ride from Independence Monument.
We checked out a half-day, 25-kilometre Grasshopper tour to the Mekong islands, which was excellent and priced at US$39. We haven’t come across any other outfits offering similar cycling tours, though it’s possible some guesthouses or hotels offer their own versions.
Along with freshly opened Aeon Mall, another new shopping destination that may either fill you with delight or horror is TK Avenue… Yes, really, this is still Cambodia.
If you’re looking for an excuse to start drinking mid-afternoon, Kingdom Breweries offers a tour of their Phnom Penh facilities, which includes at least two sample beers.
Just a short bike, boat or moto ride away from the hurly-burley of Phnom Penh, Silk Island offers a peaceful, pastoral respite, and the chance to pick up some choice silks and cottons.
Silk Island is home to a silk weaving village and silk centre, where you can see how the whole silk production process works from beginning to end, from mulberry-chomping silk worms in golden cocoons through to the complex manual loom weaving process, which requires a dexterity and memory that would be the envy of many (they seem to have left out the boiling alive bit though…)