I realize the title can be confusing for some, but you can take it to mean two things. One, that yes, Phnom Penh (and the whole of Cambodia) is waking up after decades of conflicts, the city once called the ‘The Pearl of Asia’ is indeed waking up after a long slumber. You can just imagine the developments here and there, lots of tourists trooping to the city, and the younger generation enjoying themselves freely..
in front of Royal Palace..
Or you can take it quite literally, Phnom Penh city after dawn. When everyone is waking up and the city slowly comes alive with activities. This is also what I mean to show in this post. I’ve received a few requests from friends and relatives asking how the ordinary streets of Phnom Penh look like. I could describe things to detail but photos speak better I guess.
Streets starting to get busy…
Every Saturday, Hi-ace and I have taken to biking around Phnom Penh from dawn till about 8 am. This has become some sort of bonding ritual for us and also a chance for me to take snapshots of the city while its waking up..
Starting off after sunrise..
vendor already set up..
where locals usually go for a quick breakfast..
It’s quite noticeable too that there are lots of construction and development all over the city. I’m pleased to see these developments and I’m also crossing my fingers that they would do a fine job of building the city. Khmers, of course deserve no less. Like this flyover bridge along Norodom Blvd. across Monivong Bridge, I think its the city’s first. Although there are other bridges/flyover’s in construction, they are all a bit farther from the city.
new bridge under construction..
the new Phnom Penh?
Also, a familiar sight on the streets of Phnom Penh, Sambo the elephant taking his daily leisurely strolls. Some get weirded out with this but for us Phnom Penhites, seeing Sambo walking around is quite comforting..
As you can see, Phnom Penh is still a very compact and small city. One of the things I find pleasing here is that you can get from north end of the city to the south end in just under an hour! Not a mega city, lacking in some urban facilities but I must admit, its a very charming city. One that would ensnare you unknowingly and before you know it, you’ve already fallen in love with it. .