Like many cities PP needs to be eased into but its also a city that seems to fit some people like a glove & they never leave. So far I've met 8 people who arrived in Cambodia on a variety of pretexts & all decided to say & half of them now have Cambodian wives.
Its just as well I didn't bring any Cambodian riels from the UK because nobody in Cambodia wants them. Virtually all transactions are in US dollars although you might get some riels in change.
There seem to be fewer begger children around in the day, some are busy collecting stuff (no idea what) in sacks & others are hopefully at school. But there's no peace for bar-flys along the riverside - touts are busy selling sunglasses, books, maps & guides, trinkets, & wheeled carts hawk drinks, fruit, popcorn, candyfloss & much else.
Compared to Vietnam the streets are relatively easy to walk around, its a busy place, just not insanely frantic. All over the place there are street market stalls, mainly catering for the practical needs of local people but the Central Market is an amazing place, more reminiscent of a great domed mosque rather than a down to earth market place. At its centre all the stalls seem to be selling gem stones or maybe they're paste, I wouldn't know. The four arms radiating from the central area are full of more typical stalls selling everything a tourist might want to buy.
PP is a relatively new city & little existed before 1863. The Royal Palace is the grandest place in town, the grounds are peaceful, if its not too busy, its full of classic multi-tiered Khmer style buildings & lovely gardens that you're not allowed into. The entrance fee of $6.50 is a bit pricy by local standards but it would be foolish to miss it.