Why Phnom Penh is Southeast Asia’s new capital of cool

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Why Phnom Penh is Southeast Asia’s new capital of cool

Post by Kung-fu Hillbilly »

Image
Factory, a former Levi's factory, is now a hub for for entrepreneurs and creative thinkers © Mark Johanson / Lonely Planet

Mark Johanson
21/11/2019

Sleazy hostess bars and dingy boozers where washed-up Westerners hold court with visiting backpackers are becoming a thing of the past..

Phnom Penh has often struggled to be defined by anything other than its grim past under the Khmer Rouge. Even today the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Killing Fields of Choeung Ek count amongst the most visited sights. Yet the Khmer Rouge fell in 1979; more than 70% of the current population is under 30, and they’re out to definitively rewrite the image of Cambodia's capital.

The Phnom Penh of today is a rapidly rising metropolis with glittery skyscrapers, world-class restaurants and the fastest-growing major airport in the world. From gender-bending dancers to backyard brewers and aspiring artists, everyone is thriving here, as the city sheds the cloak of the past and looks towards the future with optimism.

Boeung Keng Kang (BKK) is a leafy area just below Preah Sihanouk that’s popular with expats thanks to its third-wave coffee shops (with Cambodian beans!) and fashionable ecofriendly boutiques, particularly around Golden Street (St 278) and Langka Lane.

full https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/p ... what-to-do
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Re: Why Phnom Penh is Southeast Asia’s new capital of cool

Post by armchairlawyer »

What to do
Phnom Penh’s classic attractions – including the ornate Royal Palace, art deco Central Market and hilltop Wat Phnom (where the city’s story begins) – all hug the mighty Mekong River north of Preah Sihanouk Boulevard

Oh dear. I suppose LP's sales falling off a cliff over the past decade has reduced the budget for quality research.
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Re: Why Phnom Penh is Southeast Asia’s new capital of cool

Post by xandreu »

My family visit me in Cambodia on occasions and I tend to keep them away from Phnom Penh. It still has a few major issues to deal with before you can associate adjectives such as cool, modern, cosmopolitan etc...

The three major issues are:

The disregard for throwing rubbish into the street (an organised system of public litter bins which are emptied regularly would help a lot)

Better enforcement of traffic rules (more lines pained on the road showing things like who has to give way to who and better road signs would help a lot)

Making it easier and worthwhile for international retail chains to do business here. One of the main comments my family makes is that there doesn't seem to be any familiar shop brands here. There are some modern malls with familiar brands, but a lot of the retail here is done by small, independent store owners. Personally that doesn't bother me, but many tourists do expect some sort of familiarity when visiting capital cities.

Things are certainly improving though.
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Re: Why Phnom Penh is Southeast Asia’s new capital of cool

Post by shnoukieBRO »

Where do these articles come from?

The city is full of carelessly dumped rubbish, drunken expats, and cheapskate tourists.
The only things that have recently changed are coffee shops and Malls, but the city remains a bit of a poverty stricken dive
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Re: Why Phnom Penh is Southeast Asia’s new capital of cool

Post by armchairlawyer »

shnoukieBRO wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:02 am Where do these articles come from?
Click bait. Now that hardly nobody buys their books, they make money from clicks.
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Re: Why Phnom Penh is Southeast Asia’s new capital of cool

Post by Queef »

The disregard for throwing rubbish into the street (an organised system of public litter bins which are emptied regularly would help a lot)
What did your parents teach you as a kid? Discard your trash in a trash bin. Don't litter. Having a system of public trash bins that would be regularly emptied is great, but breaking bad habits takes time.
Better enforcement of traffic rules (more lines pained on the road showing things like who has to give way to who and better road signs would help a lot)
I agree. The problem is, the very people that are supposed to lead by example are the worst motorists. Enforcing traffic rules here isn't done for safety purposes. It's a way to collect money for beer drinking at the end of a workday. The fish rots from the head down, right?
Making it easier and worthwhile for international retail chains to do business here. One of the main comments my family makes is that there doesn't seem to be any familiar shop brands here. There are some modern malls with familiar brands, but a lot of the retail here is done by small, independent store owners. Personally that doesn't bother me, but many tourists do expect some sort of familiarity when visiting capital cities.
The Cambodian market is extremely small and is somewhat still juvenile. Why would a global corporation open a branch in Phnom Penh when they can open a branch in say, Bangkok or Ho Chi Minh, and generate in year what they would generate in three years in Cambodia?

Cambodia HAD potential. The destruction of Sihanoukville, and increasingly Kampot, has decreased the attractiveness of coastal towns. As for Phnom Penh, the city is slowly but surely losing its charm. It now looks like a giant construction site with Starbucks and Burger Kings (or copy of) on every corner.

As usual, Lonely Planet is doing its best to sell more useless travel guides.
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Re: Why Phnom Penh is Southeast Asia’s new capital of cool

Post by armchairlawyer »

Queef wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:16 am As usual, Lonely Planet is doing its best to sell more useless travel guides.
To be fair, back in the day their books were good and they sold a lot of them. They were detailed, even-handed and well-researched. The new business model is different (see above on click bait).
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Re: Why Phnom Penh is Southeast Asia’s new capital of cool

Post by Queef »

armchairlawyer wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:20 am
Queef wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:16 am As usual, Lonely Planet is doing its best to sell more useless travel guides.
To be fair, back in the day their books were good and they sold a lot of them. They were detailed, even-handed and well-researched. The new business model is different (see above on click bait).
I agree. Their books were useful 15-20 years ago. That's no longer the case. Travel bloggers and vloggers raped the market.
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Re: Why Phnom Penh is Southeast Asia’s new capital of cool

Post by armchairlawyer »

Queef wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:16 am Why would a global corporation open a branch in Phnom Penh when they can open a branch in say, Bangkok or Ho Chi Minh, and generate in year what they would generate in three years in Cambodia?
Perhaps more to do with the FCPA. The senior execs don't fancy being room mates with Bernie Madoff.
From wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_C ... ctices_Act
Regarding payments to foreign officials, the act draws a distinction between bribery and facilitation or "grease payments", which may be permissible under the FCPA, but may still violate local laws. The primary distinction is that grease payments or facilitation payments are made to an official to expedite his performance of the routine duties he is already bound to perform. The exception focuses on the purpose of the payment rather than on its value. Payments to foreign officials may be legal under the FCPA if the payments are permitted under the written laws of the host country. Certain payments or reimbursements relating to product promotion may also be permitted under the FCPA.

Ironically, therefore, their problem is made worse by strict local anti-corruption laws.
For me, I like that Cambodia has so few global brands.
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Re: Why Phnom Penh is Southeast Asia’s new capital of cool

Post by Ravensnest »

I honestly like going to the small mom and pop businesses here and supporting the locals because of the camaraderie of being personal. It reminds me of my country when I was small, 40 years ago and previous to that. Like my mother going to the butcher shop and knowing the butcher and the like. It's all gotten too impersonal in the west in my country anyhow. Walmart and other huge businesses are impersonal, nobody really gives a shit about their customers in corporate America.
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