02 Jun - 05 Jun 2010 Phnom Penh

Kingdom of Cambodia
Street 13 45 cnr. Psar Chas 118
Comfortable twin room for US$ 8.- per night. Friendly Chinese Cambodian staff.

Click below for an interactive road map of the Dara Reang Sey Hotel in Phnom Penh, which we would recommend, and for directions:

Hiring Chang’s remorque-moto, a two-wheeled carriage pulled behind a motor scooter, negotiating the deal of KHR 16,000.- or US$ 4.- for a one-hour sightseeing tour and cruising central Phnom Penh, a load test for our visual, auditory and olfactory senses, between (i) the city's leafy French quartier north of Wat Phnom, (ii) her lively Chinatown which stretches from south of Wat Phnom all the way to the striking Royal Palace, and (iii) her just recently rejuvenated river front on the west bank of the milky and sluggish Tonlé Sap River.

“Mirrors should think longer before they reflect.” 

Discovering several pescetarian and vegetarian highlights of the traditional Khmer cuisine: (i) for breakfast, Khmer noodles aka num banh hok, rice noodles topped with cold fish gravy, flavoured with spicy prahok (fermented, salty and very smelly fish paste) and served with crisp raw veggies including cucumbers, banana flowers, water-lily stems, bean sprouts and fresh herbs, such as basil and mint, (ii) delicious amoc (baked freshwater fish with coconut, lemon grass and chilli in banana leaf), and (iii) grilled eel with tamarind sauce from the Tonlé Sap Lake, all this washed down with draft Angkor Beer (KHR 2,000.- or US$ 0.50 per pint) and the ubiquitous cold black coffee (KHR 1,000.- or US$ 0.25 per glass), both always “on the rocks”.

“As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?”

Exploring in two-heel drive the tourist sights of Phnom Penh: (i) being dazzled by the 5,000 real-silver (!) floor tiles of the Silver Pagoda, part of the Royal Palace, (ii) checking out the huge dome of Psar Thmei, the Art Deco masterpiece that is Phnom Penh’s central market, and (iii) visiting Wat Phnom, the 14th-century CE Buddhist temple which sits on a 30m-high tree-covered knoll (…and taking a look southwest at the fortress that is the new US embassy and wondering to ourselves how it is that the security-conscious US State Department managed to find the only site in Phnom Penh tactically overshadowed by a hill).

“Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.”

Taking Mekong Tours’ private pick-up van from our hotel in Phnom Penh’s Chinatown to the jetty at Neak Loeung and continuing from here by means of a rugged river boat (US$ 10.- per person, including the pick-up from our hotel) from Neak Loeung on the mighty Mekong River and its scenic side canals to Châu Đốc, a small town in the heart of the Mekong Delta, in Vietnam, thus bidding farewell to the hospitable Kingdom of Cambodia and entering uneventfully the Post-communist Socialist Republic of Capitalist Vietnam through the convenient and well-organised Kaam Samnor-Vinh Xuong border crossing.

Click below for more blog posts about Cambodia
19 May - 21 May 2010 Koh Tonsay
07 May - 13 May 2010 Sihanoukville (Otres Beach)

Click below for a summary of this year's travels 
2010 Map Konni & Matt 

Visit the Konni & Matt Online Albums and order high-res travel photos
Konni & Matt Travel Photos

Recommended books - click below for your Amazon order from the United Kingdom:
For Amazon schnaeppchens from Germany, please click here
For Amazon bargains from the United States, please click here
For Amazon bargains from Canada, please click here