This post recaps my ninth day traveling back in Cambodia during this year’s Spring Break.
For my last day in Cambodia, and my penultimate day abroad, it was a time to catch-up. At this point, a lot of folks I had been corresponding with had finally wanted to meet up. It was Saturday, after all. The day started with a hard, hard rain. Though it’s disturbing that the typically-dry March and April were getting storms (an early rainy season), I was personally glad to have encountered the hard rain that kept people staying put, including myself. First we have a view from my boutique hotel room, with the delightfully powerful “GIRLY” signage (a shoe store) below.
I decided to meet my friend Ani at the new Starbucks Reserve, which was only a couple blocks away from where I was staying. It only took about 5 minutes to walk, in the rain, to the cafe.
Wearing the bandanna to hide my terrible sunburn.
Because I had to check out of the hotel by noon, I only got a moment with Ani (and no picture) before having to head back. After checking out and storing my bags in their lobby (a lifesaver), I went to Joma Cafe where I met a new Singaporean acquaintance, Ash, who was introduced to me by a good friend from the last time I lived in Cambodia, Jialing. We ate coconut cake and a cinnamon bun before heading on a mission–to buy Cambodian coffee, which would be my premier gift for friends back in the States. Because it was rainy and because we had time to kill, we also spent some time taking photos at Wat Langka, where we encountered beautiful flowers and audible cats.
After our photo op at the temple, we got the coffee (no worthwhile pictures in that endeavor), and then decided to get food at my old favorite–Street 63 Boat Noodle. We met my dear friend Kolap there, and we all ate. It was delicious, and I was exhausted, as was everyone else.
I put my plant-based diet beside myself and enjoyed the spectacle of a somewhat-South-America-looking piece of pork.
Ash, Kolap, and Greg:
After parting ways (it was too short! but so it goes), I was asked to return to Joma by my dear friend and former intern, Phalkun. We met and I had way too much coffee and we discussed a lot about our lives. We also took a few dozen selfies, but I’ll limit this post to just one:
Eventually it was time to part ways too, and I ended up meeting my dear friends Pinkie and KC at a cafe I had never been to, Dance, where we got drinks and talked. I hadn’t seen KC since 2015. Pinkie I saw last summer when she visited me in Seattle. Most of the following pics were taken by KC, who was in love with the new camera.
For some very strange reason, my soda water was served with two double shot glasses, one that had lime, and one that had ice. I made the most of it and took sips from each subsequently.
After Dance, we decided to get dinner–udon and soba noodles at Bekkan, a tiny and adorable Japanese restaurant only a couple roads away.
Ani joined 🙂
And of course, there had to be dessert. So we treated ourselves to mochi+ice cream. With chocolate fondue. Indulge much?
Sometimes I think it might be fun to be a food photographer. Sometimes.
Our adios group selfie.
Fast forward: we used an app much like Lyft and ended up getting a ride to the airport in an SUV for only around $15. Mutual friend Kounila joined. 5 people to the airport in luxury for $15? Incredible.
After our final drink and goodbye, exhausted and sweaty and sad to be leaving, I did the one thing I could to find stability: I visited the new Starbucks. Though I didn’t order anything, seeing that Starbucks meant I had seen all three that had opened in Phnom Penh. Perhaps my soul really is from Seattle.
But I’m not going to end the post, and the last moment of Cambodia, with an image of Starbucks. Instead: some fascinating art next to that swanky cafe.
There are approximately 10 days worth of photos. This has been day 9, and the last day in Cambodia. The last post? My eight-hour layover in South Korea.