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Published: February 24th 2020
View from our apartment overlooking the Mekong River
Well we arrived in Phnom Penh Saturday afternoon after a last minute hiccup with our connection from Singapore to Phnom Penh....we were Qantas all the way but it was Qantas plane to Singapore and Jetstar from there to Phnom Penh...Jetstar cancelled the flight and put us on one 3hrs before we got to Singapore....anyway after 50 minutes on the phone to Qantas the solution was they put us on a flight the day before and we overnight at Singapore airport which worked OK....Crowne Plaza was a nice place and just in Terminal 3. It is nine years since we were in Phnom Penh and we are so excited to be back...had very fond memories from our last visit which was only two days whilst on a Mekong River Cruise in 2011. We had a few beers in a little restaurant downtown Phnom Penh before going to dinner, $1.50 per beer we are loving it already. We remembered going to Armand's Bistro for dinner then and so that was our first stop on our first night here....still here bigger and better than ever and "to die for" French food, every piece of food had wonderful flavours, John had Chateaubriand with roquefort sauce
First night enjoying a cold beer
and I had the duck with lentils...both amazing...we had had an entree each before this......big mistake........I thought a small charcuterie plate wouldn't be as filling as the soup but the portions were huge and they split the french onion soup into two bowls....so you can imagine we were chockers...the meal came with obligatory baguette and butter....couldn't let that go to waste. Had a lovely bottle of French Cav Sav and then they came around with complimentary cognac to finish of our magnificent evening.....so so good! Sunday first stop was dentist as John had a huge filling crumble out of his mouth the day before we left...researched and found Labelle which has had great reviews....just fronted up and only had to wait about 10minutes.....so as we thought needed a crown and clean US$125 for crown and US$10 for clean, just amazingly cheap....if you needed a lot of dental work done worth the trip here as Bali is now about 3 times that! Our apartment is fantastic...another airBNB sucess...huge with separate lounge, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, aircon in living and bedroom and super clean with a big fridge for $55 AUS a night. Just bought a slab of 24 cans of Cambodia
ARMANDS FRENCH BISTRO
Small charcuterie plate
beer....great beer we tried it last night... US$11.20....we are winning! There are two pools to choose from as there are two towers of apartments...so so refreshing after a day out on the beat..very hot and humid! Met two lovely brothers from Boston today in the pool....had xmas with their families...just retired and have been travelling now for 6 weeks in SE Asia and still got a bit of time to go...they are having a ball...just loving the food like us! Great start to our Cambodian holiday except for the tuk tuk driver who picked us up outside Armands last night....we had used the Grab app to get there but this guy was waiting out front and said yeh yeh I know where you are...so we agreed on price...then 3/4 the way home he said you need to pay more money....no we agreed on price and it was more than the Grab fare there.....so we said you don't want to take us we get out...so we started walking, not before John had taken a photo of his license number, and then he followed us and got agressive...took his thong off and then took a rock from beside his seat and threatened
ARMANDS FRENCH BISTRO
Beautiful steak with all the trimmings
to smash us...."you don't scar us you little shithead" so we kept walking and then he had to eat humble pie and came alongside us and say yes yes OK and all ended well but lesson learnt we are never hailing another tuk tuk unless booked through Grab or Pass app.
Well we have been certainly soaking up the atmosphere around Phnom Penh. So lucky to be able to book another Lost Plate Foodie tour, have done two before Shanghai and Beijing, they are only in a handful of countries so glad they are in Phnom Penh.. ..another fantastic evening roaring around the streets of the city having 9 courses of food throughout the night with a ice cold beer in hand with the complimentary esky on board, only four of us on this one with a lovely couple of guys from Jasper Canada...the food was something else highly recommend.....our last stop being the Sundowner Craft Beer joint upstairs overlooking the Russian Markets..... their rum cocktail was yummo and John said their beer wasn't too shabby either ....such a varied lot of eateries and bars all over the city....like Chez Gaston $15aud 3 courses and glass of wine...it was
exceptional......down tiny alleys tucked away where you would never find them like the Batt Bong Bar which is a coke fridge (a hidden door) at the end of a lane with no signage whatsoever open the door and you walk into the cutest bar ever. We have had two french meals, some local, Indian....all first class! We have been using tuk tuks every day to whizz around the streets which has worked so well. We had a more somber day yesterday Wednesday 19th.....hired Mr Vann for the day with his tuk tuk from 8am-5pm.....took in a lot of sites around Phnom Penh including the genocide museum and out to the killing fields which is a few kilometres out of Phnom Penh...very sad....I had forgotton some of the information from when we were here 9years ago....just the worst genocide ever! To even think that the UN were supporting the Khmer Rouge...disgusting....and still a third rate organisation of unelected beaurocrats! Every single local we talk to tell us the same thing about the UN....it is so, so sad! Our driver and tour guide today Mr Vann is publishing a book to come out in April......he lost 8 family members in this horrid
Overlooking the Tonle Sap
time and the rest of the family were separated for three years.....just bought tears to our eyes! There is still some magnificent buildings around the city. Have done some shopping too....its quite good....as a lot of brands are manufactured here in Cambodia and have managed to pick up a few bits and pieces after getting some tips from the Lost Plate Tour guide Lianna who has lived in the city for 23 years. Her Mum and Dad were aid workers have the collapse of the Khmer Rouge, married and continued to live in Phnom Penh. Lianna schooled here in Phnom Penh but did Uni in the US. Had the very local and famous Fish Amok for dinner last night.....so delicious....white fish curry...little on the spicy but so good!
Well we have been nine nights here and have throughly enjoyed it...lots of relaxing as well as been out and about. John is certainly enjoying the 75cent beers...hoping to get some of these in Vietnam....beers were cheap in Hoi An last time we were there but only around Ho Ch Minh this time. Bus to Ho Chi Minh tomorrow...6.5hrs to do 240klms...border crossing takes a while I think....stay tuned!!!!
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