This time, Phnom Penh, Cambodia!
When my friend Katherine ('Sup girl? ;p) came back to KK from the UK a few months ago, she mentioned that she would be going to Phnom Penh in October, and asked if I'd like to meet her there.
(Background update: Kat and I have been friends since 2006, and were inseparable til she moved to the UK with her family in 2008. Since then, we've only been able to meet once when she came down to KK again, and then this time she came down in 2011, so yes, having the chance to meet up any where was good enough for me! ;p)
She was there with her parents and a team from Australia, on a mission trip. I was a bit anxious before I got there to be honest, knowing that her parents would be leaving 2 days after I arrived, and she'd be with a bunch of people I didnt know, while working. Would we have time to actually hang out? What exactly would I have to do while I was there? What if the team dont like me? What if I dont like them??
I was scheduled to arrive on 8/10, and to add the element of surprise to the trip, about 3 days before, I received mail from Kat saying she wouldnt be there when I arrived! =O She was in the villages on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, about a 5 hour drive away.. I was also stupid enough to book a 6.45am flight, but that a different story, lol. She'd arranged for someone to pick me up at the airport and a hotel room for me though, cz she knew I'd prolly get lost and just sit at the side of the road somewhere and cry if she didnt.. ;p
So. I arrive on Saturday, walk out of the airport, and see.. Nothing. No one with any signs with my name, no one who looked like they were there for me, nothing. (I dont know what I was expecting this "host" to look like, but yea.) Then all of a sudden, I feel a hand on my shoulder, and this Cambodian dude asks me "Are you Calista?" Whoa Kat, you must've given an amazing description of me! Hahaha.. Turns out his name is Singly, and we hop into a tuk-tuk and head to the hotel. (Yes, I did just randomly follow a Cambodian stranger as soon as I touched down in PP. The excitement that is my life.)
We got on pretty well, and took care of me before Kat arrived, taking me to breakfastPork noodlesDim sum
Before letting me go back to the hotel to sleep. (Being the dummy I was, I didnt sleep the night before for fear of missing my flight.)
Later in the evening he came back on his scooter (which is really nice btw) to take me for dinner. We went to this really nice place called Sleuk Chark.Walkway up to the restaurantTable settings (Those seats are really comfy!)
Singly asked if I'd mind him ordering, to which I said go ahead. Mistake!
He ordered sour soupginger chickenand.. Frog with quail eggs! =O And now, to all of you who complain about me being a fussy eater, I'd like to announce, that I did try it! One, but I did it! So there! *sticks tongue out*
It actually did taste like chicken, as so many people say, but psychologically I couldnt get over the fact that it was frog so.. =/ The quail eggs were mostly yolk as well, seeing as they're so small, so I only had one of those too.. I think he ordered it on purpose just to get the upper hand, cz SINGLY IS INSANE!! If only I'd known this before I spent 2 whole days with him.. *shakes head* ;p
After dinner he took me on a mini tour of this place called Diamond Island. Diamond Island is basically a concrete little place with gardens and exhibition/wedding halls on it. There are also a few shops and cafes and stuff, but it looks nothing like the islands you have in mind. It's also the location of the November 2010 Water Festival tragedy, where nearly 400 people died because of a stampede on the North Bridge. =(
Some photos I took there:Before going back to the hotel, we also rode down the riverside, and Singly told me about Cambodian popcorn. Of course I had to try it! ;p
It's not as sweet as normal caramel-coated cinema popcorn, but not as bland as the light/salted ones either.. It was good! =D
So that was the end of day 1! And I havent even really done anything yet! ;p Will be blogging about the village trips, our visit to the touristy spots, the killing fields and much more so please click the 'follow' button to make sure you get updated!