7-Eleven Phnom Penh has finally opened in the capital after much talk and procrastination. There was also a fair bit of excitement, but did it deliver the 7-11 magic we get in other countries? No it did not, at all.
Phnom Penh is a big city and traveling is very cheap. There are therefore not many places I would spend $7 on a round trip to go to, but fate jumped in and for whatever reason 7-Eleven positioned their first store in the are pit of nowhere.
7-Eleven Phnom Penh – location location location
It is located in Chroy Changvar. I had not heard of this district, but it meant crossing a bridge and going way out of town. It seems this is the kind of area you go on your way out of Phnom Penh.
I do not know why they chose here, but I like many still decided it was worth money and time to go check it out.
People living up to into Cambodia’s first 7-Eleven
This was surreal to say the least people were lining up t go into 7-11. This makes you wonder what would happen if McDonalds ever opened here – can you imagine? Although at least it would be warmer than Moscow circa 1991.
To read about why there is no McDonalds in Phnom Penh click here.
I hate lining up, despite my English heritage and it literally took 40 minutes to get inside. It should though be remembered that these are also Covid times, so this also played a part in the need to line-up. Ironically this was to prove a smart move later in the day.
What’s the big deal with 7-Eleven?
For many of us who have traveled around South-East Asia 7-Eleven is like a tried and trusted friend. You get cheap booze here and they serve great food. The meat and fish balls in Hong Kong for example being equal to anything you’d get on the streets of the city, and then there’s the sandwiches. I do love a 7-11 sandwich in Hog Kong washed down with Lucozade.
To read about street food in Wan Chai
to Read about Lucozade click here.
And of course it is not just Hong Kong, Thai 7-11 is also awesome and even Shenzhen is a great place to eat. What though would 7-Eleven Phnom Penh be like though?
What is 7-Eleven Phnom Penh like?
After lining up for 40 minutes I was relatively excited when I got in only to find that it was basically a convenience store that was not all that dissimilar to Kiwi Mart. If you have not heard of Kiwi Mart it is basically the Cambodian version of 7-Eleven. It’s not great, nor is it awful.
Basically there was not anything very different or 7-Eleven like at all, bar the odd drink, or snack.
And the food section? It was empty bar a couple of dumplings. OK its early days, so of course this will most likely improve, but when I couldn’t even pay by card a the end I was really let down.
7-Eleven Phnom Penh – was it worth it?
With hindsight it was not at all worth journey and certainly not the time, nor the money, BUT my love of all things 7-Eleven meant that I was going to visit here come what May!
Rather less amusingly there was a Covid scare there later in the night which meant doctors on the scene. Whether I will get tracked and traced because of that is yet to be seen. If I do though end up in quarantine because of it, the trip was definitely not worth it.