6 Things You Need to Do/Know in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Here are the 6 MUST KNOW MUST DO things in PP Cambodia. Don't leave the "bloody" country without experiencing any of these. (pardon the pun)

1. Wash your hair

Go for a hair wash. Dirt cheap to the core as you can never find another cheaper place in South East Asia to wash and massage your scalp at a cheaper rate. Say USD 2 per wash. Head massage and blow dry services included.

hair saloon in phnom penh
Stuart waiting for me outside the saloon

I got my hair washed for USD 1 at this saloon as they were having a promotion. Lucky me.

Washed my hair twice in three days. -.-

2. Avoid Cyclo

Unless you think you have a lot of money and don't mind going for a joy ride.


These cyclos have little to nil knowledge of the roads in PP and can speak as much English as you can in Cambodian language. Tell them if you want to get to the post office, they'll nod their heads and bring you circling round town till you shout stop.

3. Bus and Tuk-tuk drivers are inseparable

tuk-tuk driver in front of bus

Want to know where all the tuk-tuk drivers disappear suddenly at certain hours of the day in P.P., look them up at the bus stops and agency centres. They'll be harassing the rich incomer from Siem Reap at the bus entrance.

4. Markets are everything

Cheap food, drinks, vege, silver wears, meat, artifacts, gold, etc. It's all about the markets, you find markets everywhere anytime around P.P., as though they're there 24/7. Everything here deals in local Riel. They do accept USD but they'll still return change in riels.

bloody hell, I finished all my ripped off Riels in Siem Reap cause I was trying so hard to get rid of them thinking Cambodia deals mainly in USD.

Get your dose of duck fetus egg if you haven't try it already. Their sugar cane drink is only 500 riel. Don't get rip off k? Pretend you're Cambodian if you look anything like them, just don't talk.

5. Airport Tax

Don't bloody spend every single cent and forget about the bloody airport tax like I almost did which cost me a bloody USD25.

nicolekiss at airport

Thank god I resisted buying that really nice dress in the market.

6. Fake Lonely Planets

fake lonely planets in cambodia

One of the best buys ever. like EVER!

You'll find a lot of these in Siem Reap, but you can get it cheaper in P.P. One Cambodia Lonely Planet is around USD 5 (Siem Reap was USD7), thicker books like USA is between USD7-9. Pretty good photocopy skills, almost like the real thing, some have color pages too! Albeit poor visuals on the maps.

Support local tourism. Support I shall. I got 4 :D (at a more expensive rate in Siem Reap T_T) Let's see, there're Australia, China, Philippines and Japan. Woo hoo! Now you know where I'll be heading off this year.

All the latest editions, my China LP states that it's published on May 2008 when I bought it in April. o.O


19 kissed Nicole

  1. First, again! Nice post btw...

  2. windwalker8/6/08 5:28 PM

    Second,hahaha! Thanks for letting us know all these, Nicole!

  3. can u like.. use the full Lonely Planet instead of LP? some horny hokkien ppl might get the wrong msg =D

    anyway nice tips..

  4. you can actually psy with USD over there??
    That is freaking cool!!!

  5. That's true! you can also get hair rebonding for only RM 40 (RM 60 at most if we're talking about the place that you went and washed your hair :P)

    p.s. I got lonely planet for only USD 2... lolz

  6. last pointer is not even helping the tourism at all. and buying fake lonely planet guides should not be publicize widely. even tho it is one of the best buy, but then again this is just encouraging piracy. yea, you help the local printer to earn and everything, they will earn also if they sell original. the point to be taken is piracy.

  7. jefferson... you should travel to Cambodia (one day~ seriously)...then you will know why is it ok for to buy them.

    it's not because we've never started to sell the origin..it just most of them can't effort to get the original. And not to mention MOST OF YOU (the tourists) are asking for damn cheap things, if one of them selling the pirated version...obviously they got the chance to fill in their stomach today.

    I respect the piracy law in different countries, but f***** up country like Cambodia... I rather let those sellers that are trying to survive each days TO WIN.

  8. wooh i can't wait til your japan posts!

  9. Nicole I am omid doing my PhD here in Malaysia in UPM. My blog is the most favourate blog among Iranina who are in Malaysia. I have written in mine regading your life and blog. I would be happy to introduce you to more Iranain . give me your Email.

  10. very cheap ho.. USD2 for hair cutting...hehehe
    next time go there everyday wash my hair liao.. siao :P

  11. hhaha nice tips and write up Nicole :)

  12. And when in Cambodia especially Siem Reap don't forget to bring along crayons or colour pencils for the children who peddles souvenirs & pirated copies of Lonely Planet. U would find them beaming with joy even if they don't make the sale! Have seen them putting down their souvenirs while they look for scraps of paper to draw on! Poor kids!

  13. What? Fake Lonely Planet?

  14. get me them lonely planetsssssss

  15. nice blog!
    i add u in my 'blog i like'


  16. what did you stay at in pp? trying to book a place and need some ideas thanks

  17. good tips, nicole. love your travelling entries! i got fake Lonely Planet for USD 1 at Siem Reap. and i didn't even haggle:D the kids are really nice.one of them gave me a bracelet and another gave me a postcard.i didn't want to accept but they keep saying it's just a gift.so sweet!! and you can get nice hammocks for USD 2 each at the market. i bought a few of those but donno where to hang. lol

  18. This is a great post. My trip over Cambidia is in aug, Guess ye post shiuld be of great help.. Hugs..


  19. get to Psar Toul Tompoung (Russian Market) for the best collection of Lonely Planets. =D