Remembering Phnom Penh

I arrived home in Saigon to a surprise package – the latest LUXE city guide to Cambodia & Laos had arrived (with the Phnom Penh section researched and updated bymoi!). In case you haven’t heard of LUXE, they are a series of compact little fold-out guides containing inside knowledge on the best shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels and spas a city has to offer, conveyed in an irreverant, hilarious style.

Seeing the finished product made me a bit nostalgic for Phnom Penh and all my favourite old haunts. I really, really look forward to a short break there some time soon to get reacquainted with them.
Aside from the great food and shopping scenes (and friendly people) there’s something else about Phnom Penh I miss too – a certain unique vibe the city emanates. I think it comes from a combination of its compact size, active art community, feelgood NGO initiatives (like streetkid run restaurants and silk shops supporting underprivileged women), and the ever-present reminders that the country is a Buddhist one (orange robed monks collecting alms; temples, incense and offerings…). Being away from Phnom Penh makes me appreciate the things I really loved about living there.

2 Responses

  1. the nibbling marmot January 26, 2009 / 10:25 am

    hello there,

    I am wondering if you came across any seamstresses or tailors in PP during your time here whose work you liked? I’ve heard tell of so many, but don’t even know where to begin looking.

    Would love your input.


  2. A Girl in Asia January 26, 2009 / 1:13 pm

    Hi Beth
    There are plenty of tailors in Phnom Penh so it can be overwhelming, but I can recommend two from personal experience. One is Ambre for suits – I had a great suit made here – but this is a more upmarket place (it’s the flagship store of Cambodia’s most famous designer, Romyda Keth). For cheap/fun/basic tailoring, I used to go to Asia Tailor in the Russian Market. There’s a whole row of tailors here in the market’s centre and they’re all very similar (and cheap) but I really liked the staff at Asia Tailor. A men’s shirt was US$5! You can also shop for fabric in the market beforehand but there’s a greater variety at O’Russei and Olympic Markets. Hope that helps!

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