Phnom Penh Revisited

February 2005

Driving into Phnom Penh from the south coast was a shocker, compared to my previous visit in May, 2004. There's more traffic with many new cars and motorbikes, freshly paved streets, more new buildings, many newly remodeled and freshly painted buildings. This "sleepy" third world capital appears to be morphing into a modern, wealthy city.

Phnom Penh

 

The streets seem full of shiny new Toyota Land Cruisers.

Toyota Land Cruiser Toyota Land Cruiser

 

The new Sydney Shopping Center / Escalators inside Sorya Mall (the only ones I've seen in Cambodia.)

Sydney Shopping Center Sorya Mall

 

Many new villas are rising right beside the shacks of yesterday.

Phnom Penh Phnom Penh

 

The sumptuous Himawari Hotel    /    Golden Lion along Sisowath Quay.

Himawari Hotel Golden Lion along Sisowath Quay

 

But in reality Cambodia remains one of the poorest countries in Asia, with average per capita income of only 450 US dollars.
Walk 100 feet from one of Phnom Penh's wide boulevards and you'll find deep poverty.

Phnom Penh Phnom Penh

 

But poor doesn't have to mean miserable!

Phnom Penh

 

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