Holiday@Phnom Penh, Cambodia with Family.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The first thing everyone said when I was going to Phnom Penh was

'Wow, Vietnam!'

So understandably, Cambodia is not high the holiday list for getaways for the Malaysians I know. However, after 3 days roaming around a bound to boom town, you leave with a different perspective on where we probably were as a nation, where we are now and wondering what has to happen in between.

Bright colors light up the otherwise concrete cityscape during our morning stroll.

My little brother and a little blue Buddha outside a temple in the city centre.

The Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Monument was erected in the late 1970's.
Considering it was previously hacked & burned in 1998 then bombed in 2007, I'd say not too shabs.

A glutinous rice breakfast snack seller at the park, making orders fresh upon request.

 1958 Independence Monument at the Norodom Boulevard and Sihanouk Boulevard intersection. 

Post 1 hour city walk brunch at The Shop, a bakery bistro at #39 Street 240.
 French type food choices remain  footprints of Cambodia's colonial days.

This is how I eat out btw: Meat always on the side, so I can give it to someone else.

It wasn't 2 hours before we wanted something more local and my dad brought us for Khmer and Vietnamese cuisine!

Ngon Restaurant#60, Preah Sihanouk Boulevard has a nice ambience and is a seemingly popular eatery.

I can't remember what I had exactly, but it was a tang hoon, glass noodle, type of  herb stir fry.

Fast forward to the next day because my camera died :)

Here's me and my Father's Day painting my dad put up at his new place *beams!* 

24 years later and he's still subjected to an amateurs artwork proving the visual assault of parenting never ends.

However, we do have common interests to bond over :)
Alcohol in the Cambodia airport is cheaper than buying from KL terminal. Cheers

View from the Sun City residences, one of the few tall contemporary buildings in sight. 

Our little sunset spot, dry air complimentary. 

Denim on denim for another day out, wasn't the coolest  choice in retrospect. 
Literal and figurative.

Portable air conditioning recommended 
Some market sellers give it away for free with a substantive purchase.

 Patio brunch at Cafe Republic within Skyline Boutique Hotel #18C, Street 29, Sangkat Tonle Bassac, Khan Chamkarmon. My dad stayed here for a few months while looking for a permanent residence in Phnom Penh, so staff were super nice to us because they recognized my mom.

Time for an excursion at the Russian Market, a shopping hub for locals and tourists alike.
Central Market was much bigger, but I enjoyed this a lot more.
FYI - It's named so because the only tourists in the 80's were usually from Russia . 

There's a food section inside where you can sit around while watching them make your meals.
Worth a try for a more authentic local experience.

Didn't have much to buy but I found lots of pretty bead work pouches for gifting for a couple USD each. 
USD is a widely accepted currency btw, which is why I'm not quoting in KHR (Cambodian Riel)

Did some shopping research and Phnom Penh has some interesting boutiques scattered about town.

So we visited the gorgeous colonial mansion turn French designer, Romyda Keth's Ambre boutique #37, Street 178. 

Lovin' the bright retro looking dress behind me and feeling under dressed for a boutique day.
Just realised my whole outfit is from Taiwan (Even my gladiator Birkinstocks!)

The Ambre mansion is colour coordinated and my mom likes the red themed room best. 
Outfits start from around 100USD (RM320++) 
I bought a red jumpsuit with a fully beaded neck piece and had it fitted and tailored within 3 hours. Saving it for a special occasion :)

Dinner was at  Sovanna 2 Restaurant down Abdul Karim, Street 21, the same row as Sovanna 1.
It is located directly across Skyline Apartments (Not Skyline Boutique Hotel, where Cafe Republic is)

Local dinner feast of BBQ seafood you can dip into soy drenched pepper, one of Cambodia's big exports.

Most meals are served with a plate of raw vegetables and herbs to complement the smoked food. 
You dip that into the pepper sauce too, yes. 

Post dinner drinks at Phnom Penh's highest bar, Eclipse, proved a poor choice in rainy weather. 

View of the city centre from the 26 floor was a welcome contrast after dusty days on the streets. 
But then I was like,'Let's ditch this drippy joint,' and we went for ice cream to whet our tastebuds instead. (Pun intended)

Stopped by the Sisowath Quay, a popular area to stroll down with local shops, galleries and eateries to visit.
Blue Pumpkin it is!

Durian ice cream was yummy and bed like sofa's upstairs were comfy!
Electricity blacked out half way though but only for a bit. Who care when you have ice cream, right? :)


And for a burst of colour to clean your eye palate, here are my favourite items from the markets.

Forced my brother to buy my mom, sis and I some cloth necklaces with his internship money for 12USD each.
Proceeds will go towards women in Cambodia who are supporting their families or something.

And my thin gradient blue raw silk scarf and Cambodian made clutch also from the Russian market. 

P.S - My dads currently managing an international health supplement business in Phnom Penh and my parents are doing long distance. My foodie father misses Malaysia's mad eats and he's hunting for more good local food for our next visit. Honestly, I'm not picky but the food didn't impress me much and I'll be back next year to be proven wrong, hopefully.

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WORDS: Yet to Come.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Lately, I forget who I was.
The girl who had no real talent, 
save stringing sadness in words so well
it made people cry.

But I stopped. It made you happy,
and I could hope that I'll ring happy.
 Now we live in this pretty pretend
where the hollow hum of Honesty grows faint.
Yet you fall fainter.
and I gain clarity.

Maybe now I'll have the heart to pen to paper
and not need to steal pins or lyrics of a song, to tell
that even in the darkest of my daydreams,
the best will always be, yet to come.
And you can come with
or eventually,  forget who I am.

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