We also visited some more pleasant sights in our few days here: the elegant, airy old art deco central market (pictured) and the the temple that gives the city its name, Wat Phnom, built on an artificial hill surrounded by mature trees.
As usual when we are in cities, we walked and walked at random, usually the best way to see how a place ticks. More difficult here than in many cities though, as the pavements have been colonized by the properties they front, and are full of cars, and at every street corner there’s a bunch of tuk-tuk drivers insistent on taking you on a tour of the city.
Though there has been plenty of development recently, very little of it is positive. There is a a particular style of modern Khmer residence that is hideous, with sort-of-Greek columns, stainless steel balconies, lots of gold excrescences and shiny bright blue roof tiles. Think Bishops Avenue, double it, and you’re getting close. However we stayed in a very tasteful little boutique hotel in one of the leafier areas of the city: an oasis to retire to in the late afternoon and cool down with a rambutan mojito.