The happier side of Phnom Penh
In the 1990s, Cambodia was a bad boy’s playground. Cheap drugs and even cheaper sex meant that the whole country was an ideal place for deviants to escape the humdrumness of the West; you could even blow up a cow with a grenade launcher if you were that way inclined… Nowadays, the deviant element is in decline – you’re more likely to see a German tour bus than a brothel – but there are still signs that Cambodia is a lot more ‘liberal’ than other countries in South East Asia.
Take a trip down the dusty promenade that hugs the Mekong and you’ll find a number of ‘Happy Pizza’ restaurants. These places have become a Phnom Penh tradition – legendary among travellers who are just itching to add ‘one more story’ to their belts.
Ask for your pizza ‘happy’ and it’ll be laced with a subtle amount of marijuana – ask for it ‘extra happy’ and you may not be able to walk out of the place. Of course, if you prefer not to mix your hallucinogens with your jalapeños, they’ve got normal pizzas too – so it’s smiles all round. Prices start at about $3.