STOP VISITING THAILAND IF YOU HATE THE THAIS, YOU PRICK!
My flight to the Cambodian capital took 1 hour and 10 minutes. Nothing much has changed at the airport although there seems to be more arrivals. I skipped the visa-on site counter since Filipinos are visa-free. Even the immigration formalities took a couple of minutes without a single question. When I stepped out of the airport, someone was holding my name on a huge cardboard. That was a big relief. It was a long ride to the Green House, a fairly new hotel somewhere in south Phnom Penh I found while researching. Even my taxi was pre-paid (the hotel's manager asked for my credit card details and informed me that $12 has been charged).
The hotel indeed looked and smelled like it has had a few visitors. I booked through Agoda, my first time to do so.
To be very honest, I was quite surprised finding a well appointed promenade overlooking the Tonle Sap. The strip has been transformed into a cobbled walkway adorned with palm trees. Benches were scattered everywhere and locals are found enjoying their new leisure haven. Since it was past 7 already, I looked for somewhere to eat and found Bojangles Bar and Restaurant. I ordered Sweet and Sour Chicken which was sumptuous but pricey at $4 or Php180. That doesn't even include the $2 coke. I had to rush to an internet cafe ($0.75) to mail my hotel in Siem Reap for my pick up at the bus station. I was a bit anxious. What if they aren't able to read it before my 1PM arrival the next day? That done, I took a leisurely walk and found a DVD shop where, at $1.50, I found 30 - yes, THIRTY - foreign DVD titles.
PP has finally faced the challenge of keeping up with the continuous boom of Siem Reap. Many buildings are under construction and old places are being given facelifts. If this keeps up, PP would surely pull more tourists into the capital instead of the usual transit tourists and sex tourists. You see, for the longest time, most travel books have regarded the capital with a degree of precaution: scamming touts, corrupt policemen, hookers at every corner, beggars being run by syndicates, etc. The picture wasn't palatable.
The last time I took a bus to Siem Reap, I was almost amusingly manhandled by an overeager and overly amorous Khmer girl. Tomorrow would be an interesting day.