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Adventures of The A-Team

Khmer Delight

CAMBODIA | Monday, 15 February 2010 | Views [1063]

Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and back...

Our first stay in Phnom Penh we stayed on the "Lake Front", the backpacker haven set on the East bank of the Boeng Kak lake which is currently being filled in for development. This interesting community, for the time being, houses an interesting mix of travelers, potheads, drug dealers, call girls and local families. The prices are cheap and there is certainly lots of character, good and bad. We learned that the government has actually seized and sold the land the guest houses sit on and they are basically just waiting to be bulldozed over. This, apparently, is common in Cambodia. The government will take land from its people and sell it to foreign companies. The people do not yet have any control over their government and have no way of protecting themselves.

We see some sights including the Palace, our favorite is the fountain in Hun Sen Park. It is by far the most technologically advanced fountain we've ever seen! Very beautiful at night. We also have discovered the Meta House which screens a variety of independent films, shorts and documentaries every evening. Some are very very bizarre. After three days in the city we're ready to hit the beach. We head for Sihanoukville a coastal town about 5 hours south of PP. 

Although our palates still covet Thailand above the Cambodian cuisine, the people here make it hard not to love them. Everytime we walk down a street we are sure to hear those high, squeaky "Hellooooooo! Hellooooo!"'s from the local children. Or one may just run up along side you and hold your hand for a while. Everyone smiles, very wide eyed genuine smiles. They are good hearted, easy going, and always ready to laugh at your awkward touristy-ness.

The beaches are as beautiful as they come, and relatively undeveloped. We eat delicious seafood and drink cheap beer. We take a day boat trip to 3 islands to do some snorkeling. The Snorkeling is not really what we were hoping for, but the islands are great. We really like the squeaky sand. After a few relaxing days on the beach and a few more sunburns (damn doxcycycline) we head back up to Phnom Penh. This time we stay near the river, a better place for a more authentic Khmer experience. We find delightful cheap places to eat and we get to experience the Khmer version of the Chinese New Year. We explore more of the city as we debate our next destination. We search out a place known for its Amok, the Khmer national dish. We choose Frizz...it was a great decision and we decide we want to learn how to make it.

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