Thanks to the French, who laid out the city on a grid system, Phnom Penh is remarkably easy to navigate. The major streets all have little-used official names, which have been changed periodically to honour particular regimes or sponsoring countries; the current names have been around since the mid-1990s. The rest of the streets are numbered and generally pretty easy to find. North–south streets have the odd numbers, with the low numbers nearest the river; even-numbered streets run east–west, with the low numbers in the north of the city. Signage is improving, and areas of town are even acquiring district names that are posted above the road.

Individual buildings are numbered, but are almost without exception difficult to locate, as the numbering doesn’t run consecutively, with the same number often being used more than once on the same street – Street 76, for example, boasted three no. 25s on the last count. Cruising until you spot your destination may be the only option unless you can call ahead for directions.

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