Phnom Penh City, Waking Up

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..


Phnom Penh Mornings

Phnom Penh Mornings

Phnom Penh Mornings

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.

Phnom Penh Mornings

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..

Phnom Penh Mornings

Starting off after sunrise..

Phnom Penh Mornings

vendor already set up..

Phnom Penh Mornings

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.

Phnom Penh Mornings

new bridge under construction..

Phnom Penh Mornings

Phnom Penh Mornings

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..

Phnom Penh Mornings

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. .


  1. Tweets that mention Phnom Penh City, Waking Up- pinaywifespeaks --

    May 25, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by lui , lui . lui said: Phnom Penh City, Waking Up […]

  2. kayni

    May 25, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Phnom Penh is on my list, so I’m hoping I’ll save enough money soon to visit :).

  3. My Miscellany

    May 26, 2010 at 7:45 am

    I like your post title, Lui, and the part where you said about falling in love with the city without you knowing it 😀
    I love early mornings in Phnom Penh, driving along the riverside, and seeing Sambo going to “work” while most Phnom Penhers are queuing for their noodle soups in roadside restaurants, while the others are in the parks doing some exercise.  I’m going to do a meme called “This is my Phnom Penh”, where you share pictures, stories, or both, about the Phnom Penh we fell in love with 😀

    1. Lui

      May 26, 2010 at 8:00 am

      MyMiscellany, thanks. I just don’t know what is it about this place that got me so hooked. I mean its certainly not even cosmopolitan, walang high-end shopping. Perhaps it reminds me of the laid-back atmosphere of Bicol..And here you can easily hop on to another place in case you get bored =)

      Hubby asked me if I would consider living somewhere else but I don’t know I think this is really home now..

      Yeah, good idea about the meme.. sali ako uu

  4. Lui

    May 26, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Kayni, oo PP is really a must visit… Buzz us when you’re here we could show you the PP that we fell in love with..

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