Monday, February 6, 2012

Phnom Penh streetlife

I'll begin with last night's dinner. We didn't want to go far from the hotel and saw a nice looking French restaurant nearby. Lots of what was on the menu was not available but we both had fillet mignon de porc in a beautiful sauce with green beans in garlic and dauphinois potatoes. Absolutely delicious.

This hotel only has 35 rooms so we hadn;t expected a big choice at breakfast. There wasn't. We had a beautiful light and crispy baguette and an omelette. Tasty and filling.

We left the hotel just after 9am to go and get our tickets for the bus to Saigon. We couldn't get seats at the front but at least we are not at the back - thinking of 6 hours of bone shaking.

While we were queuing we heard lots of music and even more noise than we would have expected. We headed off in that direction and came across lots of floats with people dressed in bright colours, dragons and pseudo royalty. Ther was a lots of banging of drums and clashing of symbols. There must have been at least 40 lorries - eat your heart out Lewis carnival. We managed to establish that it is an annual event that takes place 15 days after the Chinese New Year. We spent ages watching and John took about 4 Gbs of photos.

We walked to the Central market. It was huge. Round the outside was food produce. Some of the smells were quite nauseating. As was the sight of a woman at her stall selling chickens but was in fact cutting her toenails. Yeugh! Inside in a central area there must have been about 80 stalls selling gold and jewellery.  Off the central area there were four branches with stalls selling clothes and other items. Along the side of these women were sitting at sewing machines working away. I only brought one pair of shorts with me as I hadnt reckoned on wearing shorts in the cities. This morning I bought 2 pairs of respectable long shorts for US$12.

We then headed in the direction of the river front with the main aim of finding somewhere nice to have a beer. We did our usual and asked for one large Cambodian beer and two glasses. The waiter asked if we wanted a large pitcher. Of course we did. He brought a jug containing a litre and a half of beer. Donnie and Cath you would have loved it. You don't get much in a litre and a half! We sat for a pleasant hour enjoying the shade and watching the world go by.

We walked down beside the river to the Royal Palace, passed some small good quality shops and back to the hotel.

We have zigzagged our way through much of the city centre but have had a lovely day. Catching the procession this morning was a real bonus.

Now it's blog, shower and dinner.


  1. Carnival Looks fantastic! Kids would have loved it!

  2. It looks great and carnivals with their noise, colour (and photo opportunities!) are always a bonus. That much beer would floor me because I'd spend the whole time needing the loo!

  3. Looks like you had another intrestingly wonderfull day with lots to see and time to relax with a beer - the colours are amazing not so sure about the toenail experience O' I need to get the image out of my head.
    Fi & I had a lovely day shopping yesterday and found a super Bistro for Lunch just across from TKMAX yummy'cullen skink risotto - by for now

  4. Beer looks great can almost taste it!