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Phnom Penh, Cambodia (BKK1) “Big Mango”

(Mid-2023, 1 MONTH)

Initial thoughts: friendly locals, very low English level, surprisingly good gym and cafe scene, quality grocery stores, clean air, walkable, stores accept USD, much larger expat scene than I would've assumed...only lacking a beach, but that's within 3 hours drive. Also, lots of French here (and Chinese).

Dew Point (a better measure than humidity): 76F (above 65 starts to get really uncomfy). So, what does this mean? Well, it ain't a positive. It means that even if you're sitting in the shade, after about 10 minutes, you will start sweating, on your forehead, in your crack, under your arms. You could be riding in a tuk tuk, if more than 10 minutes, let's say you're going to the spa or a resturant, you will arrive sweaty, needing another 10 minutes to cool down. Come in December - February to avoid this.

J-Tower II is the best building in the city. Take my word for it. In fact, it's the best building I've ever stayed in.

Let's talk about the weather. The heat combined with the humidity is a real killer. Temperature goes from 78 degrees at midnight to 95 at midday. One of, if not the most, humid city I've lived in which gets quite annoying and affects a large part of your life and health. Constantly dehydrated with bright yellow piss. Want to explore mid-day? Sure, but it'll be an uncomfy experience. Accidentally sweating on your phone while typing. Want to go to the gym? Fine. But your towel and clothes will be so drenched they'll need to be hung dry, smell up your house, and cause you to do launch twice as often. And, don't even think about hanging them outside. With humidity so high, they won't dry.

  • Even though everywhere accepts USD, it's better to pull out the local currency because they give you a better exchange rate (4,000 to 1). The currency against USD has been very consistent over the past decade.
  • Way more expats here than I thought.
  • All day pool access for $5 per person on food/drink at Poolside Villa next to Bassac Street
  • Really similar to Saigon, Vietnam including a river to the East
  • An abundance of super fancy cars (Maserati, Bentley, etc.), way more than you see in a capital city in the USA. I'm still figuring out what's going on there..also an abundance of Prius
  • Food recommendations
    • Khmer “Topaz”
    • Italian “Green paper”
    • Greek “Elia Greek”
    • Vietnamese “Champa restaurant"
    • Japanese “Sushi Honda”
    • Coffee “TUBE Coffee” - a very good cafe with many locations
    • Bakery “Bagel and Bakery Sancha”
  • Power outlets accept USA-type plugs!
  • English level is excruciatingly low. Even in high-end places, you may not find a single employee with passable English even to communicate the basics.
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CITY IMPRESSIONS

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I choose the items below as they’re generally available everywhere. Thus, easy for comparison. The prices reflect the cheapest option given my standard. In any estination you can find slightly cheaper prices if you wanted to sacrifice convenience (ie going to local market or out-of-town grocery store).
ITEM
  • Airbnb Nightly Rate
  • Coworking Day Pass
  • 1-Hour Massage
  • 1-Month Gym
  • Beard Trim
  • 16.9oz Water
  • 2KG Wash+Fold
  • Expresso
  • Salmon
  • Chicken Breast
  • Almonds
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Red Wine
CAMBODIAN RIEL (KHR)
  • 346,720
  • 110,000
  • 120,000
  • 4,000
  • 1,100
  • -/KG
  • 7,600
  • 73,000/KG
  • -/KG
  • -/KG
  • -/KG
  • 11,800/KG
US DOLLARS ($)
  • 85
  • 0
  • 27
  • 29
  • 0.98
  • 0.27
  • 0.00/LB
  • 1.86
  • 8.13/LB
  • 0.00/LB
  • 0.00/LB
  • 0.00/LB
  • 1.31/LB
  • 0
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