Train travel in Cambodia has mostly ceased, but rail enthusiasts may still get their dose aboard a motionless carriage transformed into a hipster café.
Cambodia has way more than 600 kilometres of track stretching from its northern border with Thailand to its southern coast. Still, decades of conflict and neglect have destroyed huge portions, and coronavirus has forced the closure of many surviving services.
However, a new train café at the Phnom Penh railway station has become a hotspot for Instagrammers and Facebookers searching for a selfie spot and a cool drink.
Customers have come to the café for spontaneous photoshoots and iced coffees as officials loosen viral restrictions following the capital’s three-week lockdown.
Among them is Chan Thol, a 19-year-old student who, with her friends, has made the café a regular stop. She described it as a refreshing change of scenery after weeks of monotony at home.
“I come for fun, to take photographs with my friends, and to drink coffee,” she explained. “It helps me relax.”
According to Se Sokunaphors, 27, the railway café idea is unique.
According to Sak Vanny, manager of passenger operations for Royal Railway Cambodia, the carriage just needed minor renovations, such as removing old sticky seats and replacing them with comfortable chairs.