A return to Phnom Penh

March 17th – 21st ~ Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Tim on our balcony at the Ohana Phnom Penh Palace Hotel

Tim on our balcony at the Ohana Phnom Penh Palace Hotel (market at end of the block)

The final leg of our Intrepid trip was to take a public bus from the beach town of Sihanoukville back to our starting point – Phnom Penh. Our touring with this group was over, so it was just a matter of saying our goodbyes to our new friends.

During the night, I got hit with some intestinal disturbances that pretty much wiped me out for 36 hours. Thankfully Tim had Imodium in his bag and Jenny had some anti-nausea medication. After taking the two drugs, we managed to get packed up and moved the short distance to our new accommodations, the Ohana Phnom Penh Palace Hotel.

We had two nights on our own, but will meet up with our next tour group, Gate 1, here on Monday evening.

I was grateful to have a couple of days to relax, recover and put myself back together. Right across the street from our hotel was a spa where I spoiled myself with a relaxing massage.

One hour for $8! Heaven!!

I also got a mani/pedi for $10 and all of our laundry washed and neatly folded to put back into our suitcases. Laundry rates vary from place to place. The rate is determined by the weight of your sack of dirty clothes. We saw them as low as 75 cents per kilo to as high as $2 per kilo.

Our new hotel has a balcony that overlooks the street. I think we are in the heart of the red light district. Tim had quite an entertaining first evening sitting out on the balcony watching the comings and going below.

The view below our hotel room from our balcony

The view below our hotel room from our balcony

It is a mixed bag of architecture, from modern to traditional city living.

For modern to traditional buildings all in the same block

For modern to traditional buildings all in the same block

At the end of the block is a farmer’s market. This market is for locals and it can be a bit off-putting to western sensitivities, so best to be prepared a little if you intend to wander through it.

I have been in quite a few third world country markets, but this one affected me more than normal. Perhaps because I was still feeling a little under the weather.

First of all, the smell may be VERY pungent. We happened to enter the side where fresh fish were being butchered and sold. The concrete floors are slippery with blood, goo, and who knows what.

I have no idea???

Innards of some kind – I have no idea??? (And don’t think I want to know either)

But once you get past all of the raw animal products, hanging without any refrigeration, you can explore row after row of fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, clothing, food stalls, packaged food, and coffee venders.

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You can also get your hair washed, cut or colored, or your nails done for “cheap, cheap, almost free”.

I thought that my system was pretty recovered after two days, but following the walk through the market, I found I had zero appetite for dinner last night.

Today we indulged in another massage. Tim got the lady I had enjoyed yesterday and was very pleased with his foot/leg/arm/shoulder/back/head massage. I unfortunately had a young, very inexperienced and indifferent girl who left me feeling disappointed. Oh well…

I think I will just have to have another massage before I leave SE Asia to make up for this 🙂

Walking along the main road that borders the riverside, which is literally only a few steps out the door from our hotel, was a way to spend a couple of hours. The heat slowly became oppressive and we used that as a good excuse to get a scoop of coconut ice cream. Nicely refreshing.

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Also on the corner of 148th and Sisowath Quay, is a lovely restaurant that we enjoyed three very good meals at since arriving. Metro Hassakan is owned by Paul, an American expat from Florida. The menu is fresh, good variety and flavorful. Cleanliness standards are high, decor inviting, and the female staff are all dressed to resemble the Robert Palmer girls in the song Simply Irresistible, but all in black.

Metro Hassakan – the place to meet in Phnom Penh. Stylish and cosmopolitan, it offers Asian fusion small plates and expertly mixed cocktails, while floor-to-ceiling glass windows and a wrap around patio provide an unobstructed view of the river.”

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I would also highly recommend Friends the Restaurant, a sister training center to the one we visited upon arrival. They are helping get disadvantaged children off the streets and into a respectful career.

Please note that both of these restaurants are pricey by Cambodian standards, but very reasonable by US standards. Plus the quality more than makes up for the difference in price.

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for clean clothes, feeling better, being refreshed and ready to meet our next tour group.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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15 Responses to A return to Phnom Penh

  1. Sorry about your stomach distress. Likely, it came from something water-borne. Usually from ice not made with bottled water. I’d still take it easy. Those things linger and become an intestinal infection. I did have to chuckle about your second massage… in what you think is a red light district. Think about it. 🙂

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    • Hmmm, you have a point, but this was supposed to be a “spa and laundry service”, just two doors down from the brothel. Other members of our group spent an evening playing the game “Match Four” with ladies of the evening a few days ago and came back with stories to tell. The doctor in our group (OB/GYN) was concerned to know that they were using condoms and suggested to them that additional contraceptive methods would be a good idea.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Remember when I wrote, “Welcome to SE Asia?” Nothing is what it seems to be. The young masseuse likely came from two doors down looking for more “work.” Those businesses are probably connected in some back alley. Let me tell you a funny story that is kind of related. I lived in Hong Kong for many years. We liked to go to Sai Kung, where all the “pick your live fish for dinner ” restaurants are located. There are five or six of restaurants there. One night, I need to use the restroom. In order to get there I had to pass through the kitchen. It was huge. It was also the only kitchen for all of the restaurants. Every one of us had our favorite restaurant in the location. It din’t matter. It was all the same cooking. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • I had one of ‘those’ massages in Vietnam until I told him to stop! All I asked for was a foot massage, and that’s what the sign said…. Not even the red light district!

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  2. I have been exploring your blog as you explore the world. What a treat your adventures have been for me. Feeling under-the-weather is always a worry on the road. I hope you continue to feel better! Cheers – Susan

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  3. Maxxtrails says:

    Wow cheap massages, pedicures and clean laundry, what could be better. Glad to hear you are feeling better and it sounds like you are having some nice downtime 🙂

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  4. Haha! The red light district comment made me laugh! Glad you are feeling better. I always enjoy reading your stories. Take care!

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  5. That must have been quite a scare, you down with a tummy bug; always a risk when travelling in exotic places. The English tend to call it a Spanish tummy because they used to get it when travelling there and, not being used to olive oil and very cold drinks to counteract the heat, they quite often got stomach upsets. I am glad you recovered so quickly and I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of your journey without any further setbacks. The market looks great, but one needs a strong stomach for some of the products on offer! 🙂

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  6. Finally feeling back to myself and ready to see more. Thank you so much for your good wishes. I was not familiar with the term Spanish tummy. Appreciate your info 🙂

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  7. I too have trouble in SE Asian markets. I loved wandering through the ones in Vietnam until I cam to the meat sections… I just looked straight ahead or tried to be engrossed in something else, just so I wouldn’t see. And I love my meat, just not handing on hooks in the street! (or in baskets still alive)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. adrienautourdumonde says:

    Lucky you! I was so disapointed of Phnom Penh..

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