Blogs from South, Cambodia, Asia


Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh August 3rd 2019

We had our do-it-yourself tour of Phnom Penh yesterday, but today is the official, organised tour. We had expected it to be a group of us, however, again, it was just the two of us, along with the guide and driver who took us to Oudong yesterday. First stop was the Royal Palace. After another security barrier that bleeped for everyone and was ignored, we were shown around the main areas. It was stunning and very similar to the temple at Oudong that we visited yesterday, just a lot, lot busier. Unlike other palaces, it’s not a single building, but a site consisting of several, some of which we could go into, some of which we could not. The king lives in a completely separate building, which tourists obviously go no where near. The king was ... read more
Moped Passengers
Siem Reap

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh August 2nd 2019

In Hanoi it was the bicycle taxis that you needed to keep saying “no” to. In Phenom Penh it’s the tuk tuks. “You want tuk tuk?” “You want one hour city tour?” When I eventually felt up to it, we set-off on our own two hour walking city tour. We walked along the river front, which is clearly the backpackers area, with all the little hostels, travel shops, mini markets and the like. Then past the stunning and huge Royal Palace (which we will be visiting tomorrow as part of our tour) and then back to that area I walked to yesterday near the Independence Monument. Just as we got back to the hotel, down came the rain. A bit of a tangent, but Cambodia seems to use the UK plug sockets. Great - no need ... read more
Oudong View
Guard Monkey
Hill Pagodas

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh August 1st 2019

We were up early as we had a flight to catch, but breakfast opened just in time so we were able to get something to eat before we left. The same guide who took us to the port and back was waiting for us in reception and then we had to face the rush hour Hanoi traffic, not that it was much different to any other time. It had clearly been raining heavily overnight, although we had not heard any thunder. Mind you, the hotel windows are probably well sound-proofed to cut out all the moped horns. The guide told us that no boats were leaving today because of the impending typhoon, so we were very, very lucky. On the way to the airport, we drove along a a substantial part of the Hanoi Ceramic Murals. ... read more
Ceramic Mural
The Long Route
Hotel View

Asia » Cambodia » South » Kep February 9th 2019

This is a late add, but even more justified. For the second day, we rented scooters and motored our way to Kep. This is a smallish town on the coast known for its crab and city statues. We enjoyed our time cruising along the water, stopping at the crab market, reading and playing cards in the bungalows. All-in-all a good day, except the one time I parked my scooter and turned only to have my calf touch someone else’s exhaust pipe. IT WASN’T EVEN MY BIKE (which had a cover over the exhaust pipe to prevent rookie drivers from doing such a thing)! Well my skin immediately turned ashen and blistered and throbbed in pain. Anatomy class tells me those are the key signs of a second degree burn. We explored the town a little more ... read more
Natural Remedy from the Garden

Asia » Cambodia » South » Kampot February 8th 2019

Today we rented some scooters (mopeds) and headed to Bokor National Park. The real adventure was taking a go at navigating the Cambodian roads. The good thing for me is Kampot is way less congested than Siem Reap. It was about a 30 minute ride to the national park and then 45 minutes winding up to the 1 kilometer peak. The curves were great training ground for learning to steer and the almost empty road was great for going at my own pace and seeing the view points and trees. The first stop Povokvil waterfall. During monsoon season, the water fall appears to be almost a horseshoe with many levels and drop ins. Now in dry season, there were two small trickles. It was still a great stop because you could hike in the river bed ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » South » Kampot February 7th 2019

Did you know there are different types of pepper? Today we visited the Kampot Pepper Farm (La Plantation) and learned move about pepper than my previous knowledge times 1000x. Due to Kampot’s soil composition, pepper grows extremely well here. In fact, at one time Cambodia was known for its pepper quality around the world. However, during the Khmer Rouge, all pepper plantations were shut down and exportation of it was stopped. There is now a revival of the industry particularly in the Kampot area. We visited a plantation which grows normal pepper which can produce: green, red, white, and bird pepper based on when it is picked and how it is fermented. Bird pepper is the most expensive because the grounds are collected out of bird waste. The digestive process (fermentation) in the bird stomach is ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 6th 2019

We traveled by overnight bus to Phnom Pehn. It is pretty common for us to select overnight travel, you don’t miss a day of moving and seeing, you don’t add overnight expenses for lodging and typically the fares are cheaper. What I wasn’t expecting was for the entire bus to be bed cots instead of seats. One side of the isle was single bunk beds and the other side of the isle had two separate cots next to each other with bunk beds. Never have I been so happy to be traveling with a friend than tonight! We arrived in Phnom Pehn and caught a bus to Kampot and made it out to our hostel. Again what the hostel photos didn’t show was the domitories were not only in the house but also in 2 shipping ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh January 1st 2019

After a late night last today was a very lazy day. We had a leisurely breakfast and then spent the morning reading and booking accommodation for the next leg of the journey. For lunch we headed out to the luxury Raffles Hotel for afternoon tea. We were sat down in the very plush elephant bar and ordered a traditional tea (they also offer a Khmer alternative). The tea is just $15 each (that’s the same price as their cheapest drinks so a good way to get a nosey at the hotel). I was very impressed with it - we had plenty of tea, little sandwiches, warm scones and tiny cakes all served on 3 tired plates. It wasn’t the most filling tea I’ve ever had but it was delicious and very well done. After tea I ... read more
Tea time!

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh December 31st 2018

This morning we walked along the river front to the National Museum. It’s only a 2km walk from our hotel but being so hot and humid we stopped for an iced drink before going in. The museum costs $10 for entry and a further $5 for an audio guide. Personally I think it’s very overpriced. The museum itself is interesting with mostly religious items from the pre-Angkor (Buddhist and Hindu) and Angkor (Buddhist) eras. There’s very little from more recent times and not much that explains activities of daily life and how people used live. Personally I find how people lived more interesting than the religious artefacts. The museum is built around a beautiful courtyard with lily ponds containing fish and this is a calm & quiet place to relax. If you go I would give ... read more
The Royal Palace
The Throne Room
New Years Eve

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh December 30th 2018

This morning was very interesting but upsetting and somewhat depressing. After breakfast we got a ‘grab’ taxi to the genocide museum. This museum is in the site of the old S21 prison, used by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. It was originally built as a high school and the plain buildings surrounded by houses in the middle of a city seem out of place with what occurred there. We chose to get an audio guide which was well worth the extra cost. The Khmer Rouge came into power by force in 1975. Initially most people were pleased the corrupt monarchy had been overthrown. Within hours the soldiers were ‘evacuating’ Phnom Penh and sending it’s inhabitants to work in the countryside instead. Families were split up and anyone who resisted killed. Once in the countryside people ... read more
Genocide museum
Genocide museum
Central market

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