Dateline: Phnom Penh- Chinese New Year

I have returned to Xi’an from my five night stay in Phnom Penh during the Chinese New Year holiday. I had a very relaxing time, not doing much of anything. And no, I did not visit Angkor Wat as I didn’t feel I had enough time to really relax and just “chill” as Angkor Wat is in Siem Reap which would require another airplane ride or a six hour bus ride. I also would rather experience cultural activities with someone else rather than doing it alone.

I also elected not to see the “Killing Fields” or visit the genocide museum in PP. I watched some videos on You Tube of both places and the sheer magnitude of ghastliness was simply too overwhelming to want to experience up close and personal. Essentially, I wanted to visit another country in Asia that was warm, inexpensive and uncomplicated. In this, I succeeded!

Like my living in China, the thought that I would even visit Cambodia in my lifetime, was something completely unimaginable only a few years ago.

And as much as I’d like to flame the odious, petulant boy’tard fouling 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and by extention, America and by further extention, earth, because of his latest outrages (always “plural”)  I’ll refrain because this posting is a travelogue.

I sat in the first row and had no seatmates. Who doesn’t like that?

On the way to the hotel from the airport. Note, Mao Tse Toung Blvd. “Kids, we’re no longer in Kansas.” 

Can you imagine how quickly you’d be pulled over in America driving with a bunch of kids in the back of a pick-up?

This is the view from the skybar at the hotel I was staying in. It’s on the 15th floor. The tall building with the gold facade, in the distance, is Naga World Casino. I went there on my first night to see what an Asian casino is like. Pretty awful, actually. Very Vegas like except the only type of gambling machines were slot machines, which are the ultimate notion of “throwing money away.” I will play video poker because there’s an element of skill involved and I can actually manage to stay entertained for a few hours on less than $100 and on occasion walk away with winnings. None here, so I left quickly

Some interesting architecture

 

Various street scenes as seen from the Tuk-tuk, a cab hitched to a motorcycle. It’s the most ubiquitous and cheapest way to get around. Typically, you can go anywhere for $2-3 dollars, depending on the distance and your haggling skills of which I have very little

This is the Central Market which is stall after stall of various things for sale

I took a tuk-tuk down to what is called Sisowath Quay. It’s the riverfront area that is along the Mekong River. On the left behind the light poles is the walkway along the river and the right side is crammed with bars and restaurants for many blocks

This one street along the waterfront hosted a slew of restaurants that featured making your order “extra happy”

I just loved this dive of a cafe. I ate here two nights and boy, was I happy!

Just some of the pages of “happy” pizza offerings

 

This was the night I joined “Vespa Adventures” for a night tour of restaurants, street markets, street foods as well as various landmarks. No, I didn’t drive a vespa, I was a passenger. I wouldn’t have lasted ten minutes if I was the driver. To be fair, that’s about five minutes longer than if I drove a scooter in Xi’an. At least, here, vehicular traffic is all going in one direction at the same time

 

 

This is random: As you’ll see, we sampled the drink that Jackie Kennedy imbibed while visitng here in 1967

I joined a food/drink night tour on my last night. The owner of Urban Forage, “Ducky” is in the middle. We started the tour on the second tallest building in PP which has a skybar and great views

The tour included visiting street markets, street food stalls and a couple of restaurants

Somewhere among the plates of food are a dish of beetles and crickets (“yum”) and a dish of beef and red ants. Now who can turn that down? MOI!

 

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