This post recaps my second day traveling back in Cambodia during this year’s Spring Break.The images, I should mention, have been selected but are unedited. I sadly don’t have much time right now to do any cropping or Photoshop magic, but thankfully the camera I used was quite good at taking care of most of the work on its own.
The beginning of the second started out in the Kabiki’s hotel room, which was far too large for just James and I. Pro-tip: if traveling to Cambodia with a family, this is the size room you want. At only $30 (which seems like overkill for anyone who has spent time in Cambodia), it is luxury, but for the Western economy, it’s negligible for what you get.
Breakfast: plain and simple, but oily and sweet and delicious.
Of course the ants loved the milk:
Part of me wished they sold their key rings. They were so beautiful.
James would end up spending time with me at the island (Koh Rong Samloem) on the next day, but for now we just enjoyed our company at the hotel for a few hours.
Though not deep, the pool’s atmosphere is one of the best I’ve seen in Phnom Penh. Salt water, of course, and not terribly occupied. As the Kabiki advertises itself as “family-friendly,” there were plenty of families around, though.
After the Kabiki, James bounced and I made my way to rendezvous with my former coworkers from the FCC Hotel. Linda (seen down below) picked me up and we drove to the Russian Market, Phsar Tuol Tom Pong, for lunch. Some pictures below describing the journey, starting with one of a Taiwanese developer advertising “the Royal Life” to identifiable white people.
Sadly, the woman who was supposed to be at the market to serve us the noodles Linda and Sros (the other friend and former coworker) was not around, so Linda got her son some fresh juice while I took some pics of the market folk.
I have taken many pictures of this entrance and areas around it. I’m not sure why I gravitate toward it . . . it is unassuming yet so much tends to happen in this area.
More development, more growth. In that uniquely-covered green mesh.
Since we were unable to get lunch at the market, we instead stopped by Khmer Thai, which serves traditional Khmer food. We ordered seafood, including Fish Amok (it wasn’t too good at this place), and fermented seafood paste (which was spicy and delicious, with fresh veggies). Below: Linda on the far left, Sros in the center, and me, hunched to fit the camera, on the right.
Following lunch, Linda dropped me off at TeaHouse, another bourgeois, boutique hotel that I desired to stay at. Unlike Kabiki, I have a history with TeaHouse, having once lived right across the street from it and spending a lot of my free time at its pool drinking happy hour cocktails and swimming. I had never stayed in it before, though, and was delighted by the small and aromatic rooms. The first thing I did when I got checked in was get a massage. And then it was time to leave!
My friend Sokunthea, who had once helped me with a couple of arts projects, who I knew through working with Java, picked me up from the hotel and we drove to Aeon Mall, where Sros (from above) was helping her business throw a private event. It included “All You Can Eat Dim Sum” (an under-statement). Sokunthea and I made our way up to the meeting area and while waiting I snapped a couple shots from the windows.
Who’s criticizing who? Sokunthea below.
One of the components of the event advertised on its flier was a “photo competition” but when we arrived we noticed that the photos had already been pre-selected. They were all the same basic shots of dim sum, unfortunately, and didn’t do anything inventive with angles, lighting, etc. Well, maybe there was one shot of a plate of dumplings with a heart-shaped line of chili sauce in the middle (ugh) but still. The image below, which isn’t 100%, at least has some nice scale. Also, sadly, the event was sponsored by Coca Cola, which was the only beverage available. The dumplings and other items, despite the limited quantity, were absolutely delish.
Prior to knowing about the party, it was our original plan to get pizza together and catch-up, which we fully intended to do despite our bulging bellies. Before, however, we decided to explore the mall a bit. I had the pleasant opportunity of getting a selfie with some random Khmer guy wearing skull helmets. Ironically, the visibility with those helmets is awful, which would surely result in one’s own transformation into a skeleton.
Additional mall adventures included checking out a plant vendor and taking a ride on the kids train.
After leaving, it was about to pour. The reason you can tell: wind. It gets windy as hell before the rain dumps. Some flustered shots from that very moment, on our way out of the mall and to the pizzeria:
Your typical absurdist image: a playground, for sale, with its slide pointed directly at the traffic-filled road.
Sadly my camera doesn’t do well with neon. “Long Live Hotel.”
Who knows if the White Building will still be in Cambodia when I go next, but here is a shot of the vendors right in front of it.
Despite my lack of ability to consume dairy, we had an enjoyable time at Luna, one of the finer pizzerias in Cambodia.
After dinner, we parted ways, and I, jet lagged and exhausted, stumbled back to the TeaHouse. I took a few shots, but this was one of the better ones, of a new office building that probably consumes more electricity in a single night than I do in an entire month in Seattle.
And one final stop before heading back: of an empty Bassac Lane, which had grown since I last drank there, but not as much as I expected:
There are approximately 10 days worth of photos. This has been day 2.