This post marks my final entry on the “Amazing Cambodia” series. Click on the links below to read the previous entries:
- Amazing Cambodia: Crispy Fried Insects
- Amazing Cambodia: The Dirt Cheap Beer
- Amazing Cambodia: Boat Ride on Largest Lake, Tonle Sap
- Amazing Cambodia: Angelina Jolie Was There
On the fifth day of our Cambodia trip, Rainbow and I had to travel back to Phnom Penh from Siem Reap as out flight back to KL took off the very next day from the Phnom Penh Airport. Our tour ended on the fifth day, so after our journey back to Siem Reap, everything would be on our own.
The tour guide was super kind to have purchased for us the bus tickets to Siem Reap. And we didn’t even have the chance to give him some tips before we departed. Le sigh.
Honestly, I kind of prefer Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. Although Siem Reap has more places of attraction, Phnom Penh is slightly more developed and dynamic although a little messy like Malaysia’s Pudu Raya.
After reaching back Phnom Penh, we proceeded to its famous Russian Market (see the only bad photo below) to do some shopping, where we bought a load of T’s. They were damn cheap and the choices were so good Rainbow and I had a hard time deciding which ones to buy. We also spent a good amount of time bargaining prices with the sellers!
I realised a lot of the stall owners were Chinese Teochews. And since I’m also a Teochew, most of them who knew would tell me in the dialect how I made a good bargainer.
Damn paiseh can? Their praise sounded like I was a cheapskate or something, but whatever lah.
At night, I met up with a Cambodian friend, Hav, and his friend whom I have forgotten the name. I met Hav during our internship at The Star and we had not seen each since 2007. We had some good chats and beer at a petrol station.
I was rather shocked to find out Hav is actually a Chinese, although he doesn’t speak Mandarin. HOW COME HE NEVER TOLD ME ONE?!
And the second shocker – Hav has been already married for over a year and his wife was already several months pregnant when we met. Congrats my friend!
During our last day in Cambodia, I also got to meet up with another Cambodian friend, Buntha, who was also an intern at The Star but at a different time as Hav and I. Hav referred Buntha to me before he came to Malaysia and I had helped him look for accommodation.
Hav, his friend, and Buntha brought me around town for brunch and to visit several places on their motorbikes, while Rainbow insisted to stay at the hotel room.
The easy-going Cambodians also brought me to try their popular roasted pork rice. I got to also taste the pig brain soup for the first time in my life.
Thanks to their hospitality, I also had the chance to taste the Cambodian version of Kopi-C, which was totally fab! In fact Hav had brought us to one of the most famous stalls in town, situated at a backstreet in the hustle and bustle of the Phnom Penh city.
For the rest of this entry let’s focus on some other Cambodian delicacies.
While still in Siem Reap two days before, we caught our tour guide secretly eating fried noodles away by the roadside. Being someone who loves street food, I quickly made my guide to order me a pack. It was really simply but very delicious!
We paid only 2,000 Riel (slightly less than USD0.50) instead of the tourist price of 2,500 Riel for the fried noodles because our awesome guide ordered it for us.
And and and…
Whoever says Balut (fertilised duck egg) is disgusting is so wrong lor! It may look disgusting but the taste is damn good okay! Looks can be very deceiving, haven’t you learnt? Haha…
Last but not least… allow me to introduce the Neak Poan bread. It’s the king of all Cambodian foods we’re talking about!
Just kidding, I made that up.
Widely found in Cambodia, the Neak Poan bread comes with really tasty and juicy mincemeat kiapped inside the French toast that is usually crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It is served together with some generous pieces of ham and prickled cucumber.
If you have strong taste buds for hot spicy food, adding in some chilly and spice powder provided at the stall is definitely a plus! A set of the Neak Poan bread costs only 2,500 Riel (USD0.50).