Saturday, March 14, 2015

3.14 - PI Day in Phnom Phen

Did you know the Kymer alphabet is based on Sanskrit? And that the written language uses accent marks over other accent marks? Two of the many facts we learned yesterday in our one day blitz in the capitol city of Cambodia. I'm tired just thinking of it today after two Angkor beers and a comfy bed.

We saw some amazingly beautiful sights - some very sad and heart wrenching ones, but nothing was quite as amazing as the traffic and driving skills in this town. Or I should say lack of traffic patterns! I saw maybe two traffic lights all day and even though I saw some zebra cross walks they were meaningless. Good thing we asked about them because in Singapore all traffic stops when someone enters a zebra crossing.

Did I mention the power grid?

Trust me to say this is a mildly busy street.

We had a great guide (Nyphea Khun) and driver who was able to get us around without a scratch. Motorcycles and scooters way outnumber cars on the streets and get where they want to go in the least amount of space even if it is going against traffic. Miss a turn? Why waste time going past and turning around when you can just U-turn right in the middle of the road.

The biggest amazement for me was the subdued horn honking and no "road rage" that I witnessed. No arm waving like in Italy, no horn tooting like in the US, just vehicles everywhere and every which way. It's like everyone just understands this is the way things work. Period.

Crossing the street makes for a fun experience. Grab Ray's hand and wish for the best. We walked around in the late afternoon to find a geocache (GC30GM3 - The Womping Willow) and then dinner along the Mekong River. We played it safe and took at tuk-tuk ride home.

Beautiful People. Crazy Drivers.