Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Time to Put Away the Dong and Get Riel


Our arrival in Cambodia coincided with our one month on the road in SE Asia. Here is what we learned during that time in no particular order:

  • Lao food is delicious! Pat particularly likes the sausages, but everything is fresh with well-balanced flavors. Why do we not know about Lao food in the States???

    Mmmm! Lao sausage and green papaya salad.

    Mmmm! Lao sausage and green papaya salad.

  • Malaysia’s currency is the Ringgit. Laos uses the Kip, Vietnam the Dong, and Cambodia the Riel and dollar interchangeably. In the case of the Dong, the exchange rate is 22,000 to 1 US dollar. Try doing that math in your head without occasionally dropping a zero!
  • We are not spring chickens. We don’t fit in and we look old and weak to those that look for easy marks. We made one mistake and lost the smart phone to a pickpocket, at least our senses are much sharper now.

    Cambodian Riel... no... what makes you think WE defaced it???

    Lao Kip … no… what makes you think WE defaced it?

  • We have been pleasantly surprised with the quality of accommodations available for under $US20/night through Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
  • Carry-on luggage is limited to 7kg on many Asian airlines and they check!
  • Vietnamese coffee, both black and white (with sweetened condensed milk) is excellent. Each glass, yes glass, is prepared with an individual coffee maker that sits on top of the glass.
  • There is road-chaos, but not road-rage.

    Road Chaos, not to be confused with Road Rage

    Road Chaos, not to be confused with Road Rage

  • Everyone is friendly and if they are providing a service, you can be assured they are doing their very best.
  • We have stayed on budget and even have a little reserve built up. That will help cushion the blow when we buy the plane tickets to Europe.
  • WiFi is widely available.
  • Everyone thinks Trump is an ass and that their own country’s politics are just as bad if not worse.
  • You are expected to take your shoes off when entering your room, many guesthouses, businesses, and some buses.
  • Narcissism is at an all-time high since the invention of the selfie stick. May the inventor of that thing rot in hell.

So that’s what we have learned so far!

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