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Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh  , sprawls west from the confluence of the Mekong and Tonlé Sap rivers. At first glance, the city is a confusing mess with no obvious landmarks. The main boulevards are choked with motos and other traffic and lined with generic low-rise concrete blocks, crying out for repairs. The unsealed back streets look identical, with only the varying pattern of potholes and piles of building debris to distinguish them.

Despite initial impressions, however, the heart of Phnom Penh, immediately west of the river, has a strong appeal. The French influence is particularly evident, from the colonial shophouses lining the boulevards to the cheese-filled baguettes, and here and there a majestic Khmer building animates the cityscape. The Phnom Penhois are open and friendly, and the city itself is small enough to get to know quickly. Phnom Penh may not have much in the way of tourist attractions - the majority of sights can be covered in a day or two - but many visitors end up lingering, if only to soak up the unique indolent atmosphere of this neglected city.

Edit by: Chris
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