A Travellerspoint blog

Phnom Penh New Year

Low key affair with delicious food

semi-overcast 32 °C

As with all western celebrations, New Year in Phnom Penh fails to get any traction with the locals, except ladies of the night and tuk tuk drivers who use it as a bargaining weapon for charging higher prices.

Not massively fussed about where the night takes us, I was happy to find out that others were slightly more proactive in organising things. In the absence of a concrete plan, we were meeting at 6.30pm in the communal area of the guest house. This would have been nice except that in the hour between me leaving work at 6pm and enjoying a long shower, a small group of my super organised guest housees managed to settle on a restaurant and actually book a table for 7pm.

So me turning up at 6.35 in my slacks, whilst everyone else, apparently 'in the know', was all dolled up and waiting to depart didn't exactly go down well. Nothing 5 minutes of speedy make-up application wouldn't fix. It was 6.45 and I was ready to rock! Destination - an indian / khmer / western Ajay's restaurant at the riverside.

Considering that we were a group of 10, I was rather surprised that this last minute booking stood a chance. But having said that, New Year, unless it's the Khmer version in spring, is a major non-event in Cambodia so they were probably not believing their luck when we called.

Feeling slightly rice / noodle overdosed, I ordered Chicken Tikka Masala with rice! That's right. And it was delicious. Either my expectations of non-khmer food are rapidly falling, or it was one of the best Tikka Masala's I have ever had. Or maybe a bit of both.

Stopping in another bar for few coctails before heading back to the river, by the time it was 10 to midnight, we were all ready for a bit of action. The previous weekend and long workday were taking its toll and the longer we sat around, the higher the frequency of yawns coming from everyone present.

As a result of the country still being in mourning for the late king, the traditional fireworks over the river were however cancelled, and our short trip back to the riverside was rewarded by small children pestering us to buy bracelets and a couple of westerners firing hand-held firewards into the approaching traffic.

Desperate times require desperate measures and that it the only way to explain how we ended up in Pontoon. Again! At this point I would like to say that 'the rest is history', except that the place was ridiculously crowdy, pushy and sweaty, and despite our best intentions to party into the morning, by 1.30am we were all crowded in a speeding tuk tuk, heading for bed. Wild indeed!

Still, today is a holiday and looking for reasons to get out of bed, a small group of us is opting for a trip to the cinema, which will probably stay to be the highlight of my 1st day of 2013. New Year resolutions - Quality before quantity.

Posted by TheDukes 20:31 Archived in Cambodia Tagged phnom_penh party new_year silvestr Comments (0)

Wat Phnom and more of Phnom Penh night life

Work hard, play hard - making progress on my research whilst getting to sample more of Phnom Penh's night life and sights

sunny 34 °C

Back at work after a couple of days of Xmas festivities and it feels as if I never left. My team is blissfully oblivious to the significance of any non-Buddhist or non-Cambodian holiday and so my overspill contentment from two days of doing nothing much is soon replaced by the reality of market research. No banter, no belated Christmas wishes, just work. In a way this is good as it allows me to get on with my interview hunting.
Phnom Penh with typical sight of orange clad monk

Phnom Penh with typical sight of orange clad monk

By now I have a couple of interview arranged for the first week in January and with the two I already did, I need another two to hit my minimum research requirement. Fortunately, the Christmas spirit seems to have rubbed off everyone else but my company and so before long, my calendar is filling up with another two slots. Result. Anything else that comes after this is a bonus.

In a quest to try new places to go out, Friday night is a girls night out with my boss and an American girl on a temporary contract in Cambodia. The plan is to meet my guest house crowd a little bit later. The destination - Le Moon. A bar on a hotel roof top with a magnificent view of Phnom Penh and the river. Unfortunately, despite best efforts my Cambodian network provider is notoriously unreliable when it comes to delivering or receiving text messages and so instead of turning the night into a mega shin dig with the usual crowd of trouble makers, the evening passes in a demure manner over a few cocktails and civilised conversation. Lovely nevertheless.

Unlike many people who decided to head to Siem Reap for the weekend, I am staying in Phnom Penh. The problem of having three weeks at the end of my volunteering placement to travel through Cambodia is that I do want to keep some destinations for later. And so instead of joining in the fun, I am packing my Lonely Planet and setting off on my increasingly shaky bike towards one of the perhaps most underrated sights in Phnom Penh - the hill pagoda of Wat Phnom.
Cages of swallows at the Wat Phnom hill

Cages of swallows at the Wat Phnom hill

Legend has it that lady Penh, a wealthy widow, found a large tree trunk floating in the river and upon inspection, it turned out to contain a bronze statue of Buddha. To mark the undeniably holy place of this discovery, Lady Penh created an artificial hill and built a shrine on top of it to protect this sacred statue. With time, town arose around it and surprise surprise, it was called Phnom Penh.

Heading the monkey-business warnings on my way up the hill, I finally arrive by the main entry into the Pagoda. Passing several women selling incense sticks and jasmine blossoms, crippled children and adults begging for money and an entrepreneurial man surrounded by multiple cages of swallows to be released with a good-luck wish for a small payment, I am struggling to see any of the infamous bag-grabbing monkeys allegedly operating in the area.

Before I can get into the Pagoda, however, I am reminded by a friendly looking guard that I actually need a ticket. This would not be a problem, except that the ticket booth is all the way down the hill in a small kiosk surrounded by beggars and picture-hungry tourists. Great. The midday heat is not exactly ideal for climbing up and down unshaded stairs, but equipped with just about body-temperature water, I absolve this round trip in less than 5 minutes, determined to find some shade in the famous Wat Phnom.
Burning insence sticks outside the Wat Phnom pagoda

Burning insence sticks outside the Wat Phnom pagoda

When I say this sight is underrated, I mean it. Silver Pagoda by the Royal Palace is impressive with its beautiful architecture and solid silver tiles covering the entire floor. But Wat Phnom is a completely different ball game. Unlike Silver Pagoda, Wat Phnom feels less like a tourist attraction and more like a sacred place, with Cambodians offering gifts like jasmine flowers and bananas to Buddha, hoping to secure good exam results for their children or simply thanking for a wish come true.

The walls and ceilings are spectacularly decorated with colourful frescoes depicting scenes from Cambodian history and stories of famous legends including one not dissimilar to the Indian story of Hannuman. Multiple statues of Buddha are covered in gifts, believers quietly kneel on the ground and burning incense sticks add to a special atmosphere. I took my time before eventually leaving to explore the surrounding ground.

The pagoda hill is a home to a museum, which I left for next time, a large Stupa housing the ashes of one of the previous kings and his family and a number of other small structures. Wondering around, I chatted to a Scottish / Australian couple who offered to take my picture, sensing that solo travel experience is not exactly good for coming home with an impressive gallery of self-shots.
Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom

Satisfied that I saw another important part of Cambodian heritage, I slowly make my way through the dusty streets towards the river. As you probably know from my previous posts, I am addicted to very reasonably priced beauty treatments and massages in Cambodia and so this time, i decide to try another blind massage place, sampling a traditional Khmer massage, which proves to be a real treat. Except the male masseur, oblivious to my phobia of knees bending the other way who kept resting one of his hands on my knees whilst massaging my leg with the other one. Fortunately, it only took him three times to realise that I might not be exactly relaxing when he does that, before he opted for a spot under my shin.

With mid afternoon approaching, it is time for a coffee break. Whilst I like the Cambodian style of coffee and generally don't seek the western overpriced coffee chains, as I cycle past Costa Coffee it seems to be calling me in and after assessing the risk of being hit by one of the many motos and tuk tuks driving opposite me, I criss cross through the traffic and land in a crowded car park. The beauty about Phnom Penh (one of many beauties actually) is that most places have valet parking. Never mind how sorry your knackered bike / moto / car look, there is always a guard at hand who rushes towards you and takes over your vehicle, whilst you are free to shop / dine / etc.
Mini shrine outside the main pagoda to place gifts and get blessing

Mini shrine outside the main pagoda to place gifts and get blessing

You know that you are getting native when you walk through town and bump into familiar people. With four weeks in Phnom Penh under my belt, I am now regularly randomly meeting various acquaintances and this time it is Rachel from work with whom I happened to be out the previous night. By the time I am leaving the coffee shop, it is late afternoon and I contemplate a trip to the Russian Market, which happens to be around ten minutes ride away.

Concluding that I do desperately need a light dress (as if), I pedal through the thickening traffic on a mission to beat the closing time of 5pm. And yes, I do make it. And yes, I do actually find a nice dress for a bargain of 5 USD and a couple of silk clutches on top. Life is hard.

Returning to the guest house with the last rays of sunshine, I feel a warm sense of satisfying day and reward myself with a glass of ice coffee, whilst discussing the possibilities for the night ahead.

With most people out of town, Saturday night happens to be a small affair of three people. But what we don't have in quantity we make up in quality. Having said that, the drive to town was rather amusing. Uncharacteristically, when we leave the guest house at 9pm, there is no tuk tuk in sight! Whatever next. Walking a couple of minutes down the road through a tuk tuk hassle promenade, we are left completely undisturbed by the two tuk tuks parked by the road. You'd think they don't want our business?
Colourful interior of Wat Phnom

Colourful interior of Wat Phnom

It takes us ten minutes to find the driver and convince him that we want him to take us to town. His slowness at jumping at this business opportunity becomes clearer a little bit later, when he takes us to the wrong street, upon which I get off to talk with him through the right way. Only then does it dawn on me that he is drunk out of his face! Slurring his words and openly checking me out, I am torn between getting someone else or absolving another Schumacher race through the town. Eventually we decide for the latter and hang on to the Jesus bars for dear life as he cuts in front of 4x4s and spooks a series of rather shocked looking motorbikes. But we make it in once piece!

The advantage of going out with a small group is definitely flexibility. Starting at a small sushi place, we continue to a big open space with pool tables and cocktail bars, where I take on two of my male companions and to the great cheering of all female bar tenders beat them 3:0. Girl power!! Then we head on to a rock bar called the Zeppelin Cafe, spending several hours sipping on cocktails and placing a song order after order before we eventually end up on the notorious Heart of Darkness. That's right. But to our defense, we wanted a dance place and dance place we got. So much so that we were amongst the last people to leave.
Dried fish stall at the Russian Market

Dried fish stall at the Russian Market

No wonder my Sunday is a low key affair with book, movie and three portions of fried noodles at different stages of the day. And I got another two interviews for next week. Woohoo!

Posted by TheDukes 06:25 Archived in Cambodia Tagged phnom_penh volunteering wat_phnom Comments (0)

Czechs in Phnom Penh

Last day of Christmas, Czech visitors arriving in Phnom Penh and a last-minute birthday party

sunny 33 °C

With most people either at work or heading out on safari, I thought it was a good time to chase some MFIs for interviews before heading to town. A friend from my home village in the Czech Republic was arriving in Phnom Penh after a tour of Cambodia and before leaving for Thailand the very same day, so lunch was in order.

Making my way through the list of previously contacted MFIs, I was half way through my pest-fest when another CEO, this time from AMRET, confirmed his participation. Result! This marked the last MFI I needed to meet my research methodology objectives, meaning that anyone else taking part is a bonus. Yupee.
One of my xmas treats

One of my xmas treats

Getting a quick lunch before 12, I consulted my disintegrating map printout and headed towards the Central Market. Martina and her beau were expected 12.15, which based on my experience could have been any time after 2pm. Still, not wanting to be late, I timed my arrival to fit their timetable, happy to kill some time at the market if needed.

Surprisingly, the bus did arrive on time and so after spending few minutes to locate them, we headed for a nearby caffee. Given that this was my first Czech chat since before Christmas, I was excited to spend time with them, talking Cambodia, travel and life in general. Time flew and when we looked at the watch again, they had to be on their way, this time direction airport.

Giving up on a market visit, I cycled across the town to the ONE beauty salon for a treat of pedicure, manicure and some funky nail art. If you have read my previous blogs it might seem that all I do is spend my days being pampered. This is not entirely true, but it is so cheap here! Plus Thursday was time to go back to work so I felt that a couple of hours of relaxation wouldn’t go a miss.
Xmas decorations around the Central Market

Xmas decorations around the Central Market

When I finally made it back to the guesthouse, I was too hungry to even contemplate waiting another three hours with dinner, which is what would have to happen if I stuck to my original plan and went to a yoga class. Instead, I was reminded that one of the guys had a 23rd birthday and thus party was to be expected, as soon as people managed to gather around the kitchen area.

And so it happened that my last Christmas day was marked by yet another party, but this time commemorating Travis’s 23rd birthday. We even had a big cake and some bubbly! Life can be hard.

Posted by TheDukes 01:32 Archived in Cambodia Comments (0)

Christmas in Phnom Penh

Sun, sweat, spa and Santa

sunny 34 °C

With the exception of a few stores selling Xmas decorations and Western coffee shops with staff wearing Xmas hats, there has been nothing in the Olympic Stadium area of Phnom Penh announcing the imminent arrival of Christmas. Largely oblivious to the commercial potential of this anniversary, Cambodians were set to go about their business and even Christmas was not going to stand in their way. Given the huge understatement of the occasion, the Tattoo guest house with its overdecorated plastic tree was a shining beacon in the ‘business as usual approach’ of the locals.
Lavish Xmas decorations at the Tattoo guest house

Lavish Xmas decorations at the Tattoo guest house

The riverside, on the other hand, was slightly different story. Most shops were decorated by variously misspelled ‘Merry Christmas’ signs and there was even a handful of restaurants offering Christmas menus. Regardless of the location, however, it was clear that vast majority of decorative efforts were grounded in the entrepreneurial spirit of the select few, rather than tradition or even religion. Fine by me.

Determined to get my team into a Christmas mood, I forwent my morning cycle to work in favour of a tuk tuk ride to French bakery. The plan was to get a selection of tasty looking mini-cakes, before being deposited at the office. Unfortunately, despite my Goliath effort, my ‘Merry Christmas’ greeting was met with barely audible grunt from behind computer screens. Grand unveiling of my bakery loot generated slightly more enthusiastic response, but it took a couple of hours and me threatening to eat everything before anyone actually ate anything.

On the positive side, my team loved the cakes. On the less positive side, as soon as the cakes disappeared, so did the Christmas mood and the rest of the day went pretty much on as if nothing was up. Looking forward to leaving the office for the very first time since I started my volunteering sting two weeks ago, I felt relieved when I walked out of the doors only to be descended upon by a swarm of tuk tuk drivers.
With 24th Dec being the main Xmas deal for Czechs, Germans, and pretty much most Europeans, I decided to organize a nice dinner in town.
Business as usual in Phnom Penh

Business as usual in Phnom Penh

Unfortunately, this proved to be a source of endless confusion as one of the 25th Dec girls took it upon herself to organize roof terrace drinks and Xmas carols at the guest house. It took better part of the day and a couple of interventions summarizing the two options, before we finally determined two camps of Xmas goers.

Collecting my peeps at the guest house, by 7pm we were hurling down the Sinahouk Boulevard toward the riverside. To celebrate the festive and apparently generous season, I booked a table at the Veiyo Tonle NGO run restaurant keen to treat myself to a dinner without rice or noodles for a change.

As soon as we arrived, it was clear that unlike many Cambodian places, these guys have heard about customer service. Being recommended a selection of no doubt tasty Khmer dishes, we went through the compulsory nodding and aaahing before each settling on – steak. Well, we should have known better. Not quite known to be the steak nation, despite ordering four different types of steak ranging from rare to medium-to-well done, the arriving plates suggested only one type of a very very well done beef.
Views of the riverside on Xmas eve

Views of the riverside on Xmas eve

Although slightly disappointed, by the time the food made it to our table we were ravenous and so it was gone before you could say ‘Vesele Vanoce’. Concluding that it was purely our fault for ordering steak in Khmer restaurant, we agreed to come back another time for one of their noodle dishes and skip the desert. Instead, we took a stroll along the river, until Chantelle recommended a desert place with a terrace overlooking the riverside.

Spending another two hours chatting and nibbling on lovely selection of cakes and tarts, we all agreed that this was an excellent alternative to celebrating Xmas with our families.

Back at the guest house, contrary to our expectations, the roof top party died out and whilst half of the people headed out to Equinox, the other half went to bed. Joining the latter group, I was ready for the 25th and with it a day off doing nothing much.

With the sun taking its toll on my ginger locks, I decided to desperately require new colour and hydrating mask. Creating a plan of action involving cycling towards the Himawari hotel hosting one of the few western hair dressers in Phnom Penh, followed by a trip to the Bliss Spa for less pleasant waxing session.

Unfortunately, my epic effort of cycling through mad traffic under scorching sun and eventually locating the before mentioned hotel was futile. As the name ‘French Element’ suggests, the Frenchness of the salon owner took the better of him and unlike the rest of Cambodia, he took a day off! Right. Next stop – Bliss Spa.

Now if you want to open a spa, you might want to put less effort in camouflaging the entry unlike Bliss. It took me twenty minutes cycling up and down street 240, before I finally found a green / white sign standing outside a shop with linen clothes and generally nice but useless bits. Braving an entry, it soon transpired that one has to go through the shop to get to the actual spa. Hmmm. Not the most intuitive of designs.
The rooftop morning after

The rooftop morning after

But once in, I knew that my decision to spend the extra dollar to get a ‘proper’ wax was right. And when I was at it, I even got myself an hour of milk and honey body scrub. The only thing I have to say about this place is that I will definitely be coming back. By the time I was extracting my bicycle from a row of motos, my stomach announced the imminent lunchtime.

Heading towards the river, I found a great people-watching spot in one of the restaurants / cafes and settled in for a dish of Fish Amok (Khmer curry). This proved to be an excellent idea and I enjoyed it so much that I spent another two hours digesting my lunch with a series of ice coffees, smoothies and a book.

The entertainment was only improved with two Germans joining me at the table. Aged 60 and 40ish, they demurely settled in and started to read, only to be interrupted a few minutes later by a girl selling DVDs. After few minutes of their awkward conversation it was clear that the younger of the two and this girl were no strangers. Trying to appear disinterested yet refusing to leave, I found myself siding with the girl who could not be more than 13.

My suspicion got confirmed when she shyly remarked that she still has not received the present he promised her. Awkward indeed. Smiling at the girl, it seemed as if we all waiting for the younger guy to answer. Eventually he did ask what she would like, upon which she asked for a big fluffy teddy bear. Now, come on! I doubt any middle aged Germans or other sleazy men for that matter read this blog but if you do, let me enlighten you that your inability to find an equal companion is a never-ending source of disgust and amusement for all normal travelers.

It was slowly time to head back to the hotel and get ready for Xmas dinner #2, this time at Haggard, another NGO run restaurant. Arriving with a group of twenty and immediately making a bee line for the buffet, we were determined to get our 18 dollars per head worth. The selection was excellent from sushi, to sashimi, to hot beef in red wine sauce and paella and together with the company, it turned out to be a great night out. Except that everyone seemed to be worse for wear from previous few party nights. Although we did head to another bar in town for a couple of cocktails afterwards, it wasn’t long before the group started to shrink until only a small group of Ozzy’s stayed out.

Posted by TheDukes 00:09 Archived in Cambodia Tagged phnom_penh christmas Comments (0)

Phnom Penh night scene and the Silk Island

Re-discovering Phnom Penh night life and buying out the Cambodian stocks of silk


The advantage of having a work routine is that I can plan my spare time accordingly. The disadvantage is that whilst my workday starts slightly after 6am and finishes before 6pm, most other people I live with have much more lenient schedules, often not bothering to go to work at all. Well, you loose some, you win some. After a long week, Friday night was here and I was ready to party!
Ferry port at the Mekong River

Ferry port at the Mekong River

By know it is clear that heading out before 10pm in Phnom Penh is a party mood suicide. Most places only start going around 11pm, and night clubs take much longer. Taking it easy at the guest house, it was after 10 when our little group of 15ish enlisted the help of three tuk tuk drivers to get us to the first watering stop - Top Banana.

Now, Top Banana is one of the best known spots in Phnom Penh for backpackers. Whilst it is nowhere near the best, it is an ok 'in-between' stop before heading somewhere bigger and better. Or at least somewhere not twenty flights of stairs high.

Drinking good-bye with a couple of fellow guest housees, it was a fun night. The good thing about going out with a big group is that the banter never dries out and so in between miscellaneous conversations and steady supply of coctails, we eventually got up to head to the notorious Heart of Darkness. Unfortunately, unlike the last time when we hit the dance floor straight away, the less experienced of us made a bee line for the comfy sofas upstairs. Traditional houses on stilts along the way to the Silk Island

Traditional houses on stilts along the way to the Silk Island

Not far enough from the speakers to be able to hold a conversation, but too far to make frequent trips to the dance floor whenever a good song comes on a nuisance.

Still, it was a good night out with some interesting local characters, counting a man with pimp-style suit, indoors sunglasses and uncharacteristically hairy chest. Hmmm. At least getting up on Saturday morning was not a challenge.

Having a weekend in Phnom Penh was on the cards, and with it a spot of lounging around the pool at 252, shopping for a New Years dress and a manicure. I was on a mission to decorate my nails with tiny snow men, which didn't seem to happen as after I got a Swedish massage, the ladies at One Beauty Salon extremely apologetically announced that they forgot about an Xmas party the very same night. Right. Not one to stand in a way of a good party, it was time to accept defeat and head back to the house for dinner, before heading out again. This time Equinox.
The silk selling frenzy

The silk selling frenzy

Imagine my surprise when finally left the guest house after 10pm and walked into an excellent live band, which was coincidentally the same band giging at the pool party a couple of weeks earlier. I am definitely starting to feel quite local. Although the music was great, the place was quite sweaty (easily done in Cambodia) and crowded so after few minutes, most of us climbed two flights of stairs down again to challenge a couple of guys hogging the pool table.

What was said was done and after a game, our group was firmly scattered around the pool area, taking turns in performing the world's luckiest shots. I am proud to say that until my turn, the teams were equally good at winning as at loosing. Teaming up with Nicola marked a start to the longest rally ever held within our guest house community. The fact that it was only the second time we have actually played pool does not make this achievement any less impressive.
The beach establishment at the banks of Mekong

The beach establishment at the banks of Mekong

After a few very lucky victories, we caught an eye of the world's most arrogant french couple of men! So much so, that they challenged us without even introducing themselves or talking to us as a matter of fact. Let it be a lesson to them that we won not once, but twice in a row. In fact, our victory was so impressive that they refused to play for the third time. Result!

Unfortunately, after a pool rally and fair amount of coctails, majority of the group started to feel the toll of their non-demanding volunteering placements. Instead of embarking on a 'tour de phnom penh', people started to huddle into tuk tuks, direction Tattoo. Majority but not all. I was ambushed by an excited Charlotte, who was looking for someone to hit the Pontoon night club with. And the rest is history. The only thing I want to say is that we rocked the place! So much so that when I was leaving in the small hours of the morning after a brief visit into another couple of bars, Charlotte was nowhere to be found and only made it back at 10am. Overall, a good night out.

The morning after was less good. Having had only a couple of hours sleep, Nicola woke me up banging on my doors. Apparently she was partially concerned if I made it home and partially interested in knowing if I will be accompanying her to Koh Dach (Silk Island). It was a struggle but as soon as I got my morning omelet and lemon water, the world started to seem a good place again. Few minutes later and we were zooming down the busy roads northeast of Phnom Penh, towards the Mekong River.

Temporarily swapping tuk tuk for a ferry before boarding our tuk tuk again, we set off, but this time on less nicer roads. By less nicer I mean massively pot holed non-tarmacked roads with a permanent cloud of dust. This would be a challenge on a good day but after two hours sleep and watery stomach, I was counting minutes to arrival. Except none of us had any idea where arrival was. It took almost half an hour and a couple of drinking stops before we arrived at an abandoned place at the river bank.

Not quite sure what was happening, we alighted the tuk tuk and threw questioning glances towards our driver. He pointed to a small group of approaching women with huge bin liners on their bags, who turned out to be the silk ladies. Having seen plenty of weaving machines in front of many houses by the road, we knew we were in the right area but didn't quite know how it works. We soon found out.
Little girl pumping up the tyres

Little girl pumping up the tyres

Working in a gang, determined to make you buy something from each of them, the ladies started to perform an elaborate dance of pulling out variously coloured scarfs, some of them made of pure silk and some of them spiked with cotton. The garments were beautiful and the prices were probably higher than in the markets, but we were very happy to not bargain too hard. It was clear these women were making much less than the stall keepers and they actually had to take the time making the scarfs too. As we found out, it takes 1 day per 1 scarf of a meter of silk fabric.

Knowing we were doing the right thing, Nicola and I both bought near to 10 different scarfs for ourselves and as presents, before heading to explore the curious settlement on the bank of the river, which turned out to be a beach with inflatable tyre hires.

Unfortunately, in my 'morning after' haste, I didn't put on any sunscreen and the midday sun started to show on my pale arms. Clear sign that it was time to embark on the painful journey back. But before we left, we asked the driver to stop at one of the houses where a friendly looking lady sat at the weaving machine, creating a measure of the most beautiful red silk fabric.
Silk weaving lady at work

Silk weaving lady at work

Interested in the technique and the woman herself, we spent a few minutes chatting to her. She seemed please to see that we were genuinely interested and only little disappointed that I didn't buy anything.

I am pleased to say that despite reservations, my Sunday turned out to be rather productive and as I was settling in for a movie and a good night sleep at 6pm, I felt it was strangely deserved.

Posted by TheDukes 01:52 Archived in Cambodia Tagged phnom_penh equinox silk_island koh_dach top_banana Comments (0)

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