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.