It was another day of waking up early on December 1, 2008. Ivan, Jennifer and I boarded the boat with the rest of the group. We stopped at a fish farm.
The fish went crazy when they were fed. We had the opportunity to feed the fish. It was small little pellets. The river has thousands of fish farms.
Our next stop was a local village. We had to cross this wood bridge to get to the village.
I’m glad I was on Jennifer’s shoulders. It didn’t look very stable at all. There were a few local children trying to sell us waffles. I had the banana one and it wasn’t very good. Ivan and Jennifer thought it needed some syrup. But, they were hard like cardboard. We were shown how they make silk.
It takes a day to make two or three silk items. It’s great to see how things are made. It makes you appreciate the hard work that goes into creating it. Ivan and Jennifer tried on the silk items on and took pictures.
Jennifer bought two bracelets here. We walked across the bridge again and hopped back on the boat. We were headed to Cambodia. It took awhile to get our visa. They also had to scan our luggage. Finally, we got our visas and were on our way to Phnom Penh.
We arrived about 2:20 pm at Phnom Penh. We checked in at the Velkommen Inn. It’s a really nice hotel. We got a huge room with a jacuzzi and a balcony. The owner warned Ivan that we shouldn’t keep the door open since monkeys sometimes come on the balcony. We dined at the hotel for lunch. Ivan had a chicken grill while Jennifer had the chicken club. I ordered the banana club. We were all starving and the food tasted really good. It took awhile to get our food. I think only one lady was making the food. It was a bit odd since there was like four ladies available not doing much. Ivan went to use the internet. Jennifer and I stayed in the room watching tv. We did see a monkey family out on the balcony. The babies were so cute. I think Jennifer scared them away with her picture taking. The pictures didn’t come out very clear though – which is a shame really.
We walked around to find a good restaurant for dinner. We decided on Mekong River Restaurant. The food was okay. Jennifer had noticed a cookie place that we passed by earlier. We stopped at the Camory Premium Cookie Boutique. Outside the store you can try different samples of the cookies. The best one to Ivan and Jennifer was the Mixed Spice cookie. I liked the banana nut cookie – no surprise there! Ivan and Jennifer got one Mixed Spice and a Banana Nut for me. It was a nice way to end the day with a good cookie.
We had a late start on December 2, 2008. We had lunch at the BKM Cafe. It was a nice restaurant right by the riverfront. The appetizer was vegetable spring rolls. Ivan had the fish amok. I had the banana amok. Jennifer had the Baguette sandwich (basically a ham sandwich with cheese). The food tasted really good. The amok is like a green curry. They have Happy Herb Pizza here and Happy Shakes. I asked Ivan and Jennifer what this was. They said that it makes you happy. I said that if a dish has been prepared in a good way doesn’t that make you happy. I guess it’s just a special type of ingredient that is used. It must be since it’s always a little more expensive to make it happy.
We chilled at the Green River Restaurant. They have part of the restaurant on the riverfront. Ivan and Jennifer played a game of pool. There were people watching one of the Batman movies. We walked to a DVD and CD shop. Ivan bought the movie The Killing Fields. We walked back to the restaurant to see if we could watch the movie. Jennifer said I should watch Curious George on Ivan’s iPod. I guess The Killing Fields isn’t for young monkeys. Ivan and Jennifer thought The Killing Fields was okay. It didn’t have that much information about the fighting.
We took a tuk tuk to Wat Phnom. At the bottom there’s a big grass clock. You walk up the stairs and the entrance is $1. The US dollar is widely accepted here in Cambodia. Small change is given out in Riel. We were approached by begging children on the way up. There’s statues of Buddha and other figures like the genie Preah Chau.
According to Lonely Planet, people come to Wat Phnom to pray for good luck in school exams or business ventures. If their wish is granted, they return to deliver and offering to the spirits.
That night, we took a tuk tuk to Friends Restaurant. It was highly rated in Lonely Planet and my Lonely Monkey. We ordered a few tapas. My favorite was the banana and garlic meatballs.
Ivan and Jennifer loved the pumpkin soup with coriander and croutons. Two other good dishes were the eggplant dip and the fish cooked in a banana leaf. The drinks were delicious. Ivan had a nice Mandarin and Mango daiquiri. This is a wonderful restaurant. It’s also a good cause because they help former street kids get into the hospitality industry. Ivan and Jennifer had a wonderful spring roll dessert with strawberry sauce and ice cream. We were so stuffed from this great meal.
We headed back to the hotel on a tuk tuk. The cars don’t seem to look when they go into the intersections. Our tuk tuk driver avoided hitting a car that was going too fast. It really was a close call. Then right after a guy on a motorbike crashed into a car in that same intersection. I’m glad we made it back to the hotel safely. We sat at the bar having drinks. I had a banana juice as usual. We were given free popcorn. It was good but too salty. We went to sleep after a few minutes.