I’ve been blogging about anime and living in Japan for a mind-boggling 25 years. If you’ve read my posts or the J-List emails for any length of time, you’ll know I like to take random vacations to unexpected countries and then write posts about them. Last week Mrs. J-List and I visited Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on bank business but also to check out a country we’d never visited. Here’s a blog post about what we found there!
Did you see? J-List has a brand new website! Orders are still copied from the old server, so please be patient!
J-List Takes a Holiday in Cambodia!
Phnom Penh is a massive city of 2.2 million located in central Cambodia, nestled between Thailand, Laos and Vietnam on all sides. We knew almost nothing about the place before arriving, but we managed to have a lot of fun!
We visited a lot of shopping malls in Phnom Penh, including the high-end ones operated by Japan’s Aeon department store group. It was surprising to find that U.S. dollars were legal tender, and everyone would happily take $20 for a purchase and give us back local currency as change. Also, we were surprised to find fantastic bread sold in many places, a holdover from Cambodia’s days as a French protectorate.
The number of foreign businesses operating in Cambodia was incredible, with American, Japanese and Korean restaurants all offering various products…but not McDonald’s. Our guide lamented that they had every famous foreign food except Big Macs. I was surprised to find a line of Playboy-brand shampoo and deodorants. Asia is so random and fun!
Cambodia, a Spiritual Country
Like Thailand, Cambodia is a very Buddhist country, which is something we were interested in checking out, as Japan is also Buddhist. Cambodia is also a very young country. While 30% of Japanese are aged 65 or older, only 5% of Cambodians are this old. (Of course, there’s a sad reason behind this…)
We visited a famous Buddhist temple called Wat Phnom and observed the worshippers there. It was much brighter and more colorful than the more austere settings in Japanese Buddhist temples. Japan’s form of Buddhism is all about remembering dead family members and providing a framework for our lives. I wonder how the locals perceive Buddhism?
We also visited the National Museum and saw a lot of stone statues from 700-1000 years ago. I just had to take a picture of this dude choking his chicken…
How was the food? With Mrs. J-List being a massive fan of Thai food, we were happy to find things were similar. We took a night tour that brought us to six different restaurants, from family-run hole-in-the-wall joints to elegant places servicing the ex-pats who live in the city. Mrs. J-List was not thrilled at eating while dozens of newts peered down on us from the walls.
It was nice having a guide to ask questions of because it’s hard to scratch the surface of a country when you’re a foreigner. Our guide Neara told us about how after Pol Pot’s reign, her family got a house for free. They just moved into an empty home and waited to see if the owners would come back to claim it…but they sadly did not. Interestingly, they consider the Pol Pot years from 1975-1979 a civil war rather than a genocide, as we generally perceive it from the West.
Let’s Go For a Ride in a Tuk-Tuk!
Want to go for a ride in a Tuk-Tuk? Here’s a video for you! These vehicles were ridiculously convenient, allowing you to ride anywhere in the city for around $2. I expected the city’s air quality would be poor with all the small motorcycle engines in use, but it wasn’t bad at all.
Thanks for reading this blog post about J-List’s holiday in Cambodia! Make sure to follow us on these social media platforms!
- Twitter, where Peter posts anime booba for you
- Facebook, where we share memes and discuss anime
- Instagram, for fans who want to keep up with J-List products in your Insta timeline
- Discord, if you want to chat with other J-List customers of culture
- Finally, check out J-List’s new short video blogs on YouTube or TikTok!
We love to bring you all the best hentai manga from Japan, including tankoubon-format comics and the popular monthly anthology manga magazines that our customers love so much. See all the new monthly manga magazines in stock on the site!