I was visiting Phnom Penh, Cambodia, last week and stayed in the city for four days. Everyday, I was surprised how much this city resembled Bangalore–the city of my residence–in many ways. Back home, I decided it is worth making a list of things that I found very similar in both the cities. They are not necessarily nice things, but similar, nevertheless. Here they are.
1. Tree lined avenues. Both cities have many tree lined avenues, and there has been an attempt to continue the tradition. Bangalore was once famous for its trees which are slowly getting the axe, thanks to growing traffic and subsequent widening of roads. Nevertheless, you can still see saplings on both sides of the road in new localities and new roads. Thankfully, the trees in Phnom Penh continue to stand tall. But they are seen more in numbers in older areas near the Royal Palace and closer to the river. I have seen saplings planted along the road in some newer parts as well. In both cities, trees also frequently dominate the footpaths and force the pedestrians into the road.
2. A traffic dominated by two-wheelers, and chaos. Two wheelers make up for a significant part of the traffic on the roads in Phnom Penh as well as Bangalore. As in Bangalore, drivers and riders of Phnom Penh strongly believe that road rules are meant for other people. The best way to cross a road is to continuously watch out in all directions. Never make the mistake of believing that traffic in certain direction sticks to certain side of the road (left in Bangalore, right in Phnom Penh). Bangalore’s traffic these days is increasingly seeing more four wheelers, but not so much in Phnom Penh. Another dominating feature of Bangalore is the auto-rickshaws, whereas remorks (tuk-tuk) takes that position in Phnom Penh. Whatever constitutes the traffic on either cities, you are assured of chaos. click to read more »