Phnom Penh; waiting for the bats

Am sitting in the Foreign Correspondents Club in Phnom Penh, watching the sun go down over the national museum and waiting for the bats – promised by one of the guidebooks – that are supposed to swarm out of the museum towards the Mekong via the FCC bar.

Foreign Correspondents Club, Phnom Penh

The club probably hasn’t seen a journalist – bar a few travel journalists (don’t count) – in 30 years. It’s now firmly on the list of places that every non-English speaking tuk-tuk driver knows. ┬áThat said, it’s a very nice building with a great terraced bar, overlooking the river confluence on one side and the palace on the other.

It seems a fairly limited capital; more a large town. Hardly any tall buildings, a few big public spaces celebrating independence form the French and ‘liberation’ by the Vietnamese in 1979, a long riverside┬ápromenade, some major new wats, a royal palace and some genocide sites. But there are plenty of foreigners here. I suppose it’s partly because it’s one of those places that was impossible to visit for about 15 years

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