Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Neak Pean - In Wet and Dry Seasons

In the wet.......

 And very, very dry.

This was at the tail end of the wet season in October.

This was in July, Siem Reap had experienced very little rain at this time.

 These two photos really show the difference in the water level.

This little boy had great fun taking advantage of wet season.

Little Girl at Bantay Srei Temple

She was so sweet, I had to take her picture (after getting permission from Mum, of course).

Sunset in Kampot

I can highly recommend a sunset cruise in Kampot.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cakes in Cambodia

This may come as a surprise, but you can buy the most amazing cakes in Cambodia.
With prices starting from as little as $10, you can get a beautifully decorated cake for any occasion.

The process is to simple- find a bakery, look at some pictures,  be amazed and astounded, FINALLY decide on a design and order the cake. Then remember to pick it up on the day.

Candles are provided and you will usually be provided with disposable plates and forks as well, and you can buy silly string, confetti etc.

The process is so unbelievably simple and prices are excellent.
Here are some cakes we have purchased or seen at various functions.
They taste great too!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Safety First!

What could possibly go wrong?!?

Visakha Buchea Day, May 2016

Also known as Buddha Purnima and Buddha Day, is a holiday observed traditionally by Buddhists on different days in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Tibet, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam,Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Myanmar and in other places all over the world.

Sometimes informally called "Buddha's Birthday", it actually commemorates the birth, enlightenment (nirvāna), and death (Parinirvāna) of Gautama Buddha in the Theravada or southern tradition.[6]


In Sihanoukville, hundreds of people walk from the Golden Lions to Wat Leu, which is a LONG walk!

Sushi in Sihanoukville

Name: Shin
Address: Village4 Square4 Serendipity Road, Sihanoukville
Telephone: 086 708 580
Opening hours: 11.30am - 10pm
Cuisine: Japanese
Rating: 5

I cannot praise this restaurant highly enough!
If you like sushi, you HAVE to treat yourself when you are next in Sihanoukville.

I have eaten sushi in a lot of places around the world, and I have to say, this is one of my absolute favourite spots.
The food is always fresh and delicious with the same excellent service each time I go, which is about once a fortnight.

The story as it was told to me is such a great Cambodian tale.

As I heard it: The restaurant was originally owned by someone else, with a brilliant Japanese chef.
They did an all you can eat sushi buffet which was fabulous (I LOVED this!), but the chef and the owner did not get along too well.
One day, they had one too many fall outs and the chef quit.
Quality went downhill until the owner had to sell.
The chef, using a "middle man" bought the restaurant from under him and restored it to its former glory in no time at all.

He is obviously passionate about what he does, it certainly shows in his product.

There are also restaurants at Queenco and Victory Castle associated with Shin, both have the same level of excellence but slightly different menus and specials.

Try the Happy Sushi Set for $10, I have mine with Miso soup.

Pchum Ben

From Wikipedia:

Pchum Ben (Khmerបុណ្យភ្ជុំបិណ្ឌ; "Ancestors' Day") is a 15-day Cambodian religious festival, culminating in celebrations on the 15th day of the tenth month in the Khmer calendar, at the end of the Buddhist lent, Vassa. (September / October)
The day is a time when many Cambodians pay their respects to deceased relatives of up to 7 generations.  Monks chant the suttasin Pali language overnight (continuously, without sleeping) in prelude to the gates of hell opening, an event that is presumed to occur once a year, and is linked to the cosmology of King Yama originating in the Pali Canon. During the period of the gates of hell being opened, ghosts of the dead (preta) are presumed to be especially active, and thus food-offerings are made to benefit them, some of these ghosts having the opportunity to end their period of purgation, whereas others are imagined to leave hell temporarily, to then return to endure more suffering; without much explanation, relatives who are not in hell (who are in heaven or otherwise reincarnated) are also generally imagined to benefit from the ceremonies.
In temples adhering to canonical protocol, the offering of food itself is made from the laypeople to the (living) Buddhist monks, thus generating "merit" that indirectly benefits the dead; however, in many temples, this is either accompanied by or superseded by food offerings that are imagined to directly transfer from the living to the dead, such as rice-balls thrown through the air, or rice thrown into an empty field.

Pchum Ben is considered unique to Cambodia.
Photos taken at Otres and Ream Pagodas.

Multi-tasking to the max!

Getting a hair wash while you sit outside with your friends eating dinner.

A Piece of Heaven

So what's KTV all about?

You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking karaoke is Cambodia’s national pastime, with “KTV” clubs of all sizes on just about every street corner.

Varying in style from little more than a TV on the wall and a stereo system in the corner of a family’s front room, to massive multi-storey clubs with huge screens, beautiful hostesses and the latest karaoke technology – there is a KTV club to suit everyone’s level of sophistication.

For the cost of little more than two movie tickets and popcorn back home, you can enjoy hours of fun partying long into the night with your favourite local singing sensations.

If you don’t have any friends in town, that’s never a problem.
Simply for a walk down the street and find the first family sitting having dinner out the front of their home. Say “KTV? KTV?” while mining singing into a microphone – You will have a crowd, and an instant party, in no time!

If you are attending one of the restaurant-style clubs, it’s simple. Sit down and ask for a book. Write down the song numbers and someone will come to collect the paper. Eat drink and sing!

And don’t even think about telling your guests you can’t sing- there is no such thing in Cambodia.
If you can speak, you can sing. In tune, out of tune, it doesn’t matter -you will be applauded enthusiastically either way.  You are miles away from home, absolutely nobody knows you – now is your chance to belt out all your favourite Village People, Abba and Bon Jovi classics.

At the bigger clubs, it can be a little more intimidating.

The first thing you will notice is the long line of girls sitting at the entrance, done up to the nines. If you would rather not have a hostess, you can tell them when you go in. If you would like to choose a lovely lady to pour your drinks, keep you company and smile beautifully all night, you are looking at around $2 plus tip. Once you are shown to your room, the girls will soon follow.

They are not prostitutes so don’t even think about it! Get too touchy and all you’ll end up with is the cold shoulder.

You will be allocated a private room, with stunning Khmer kitsch décor. If you’re lucky, yours will be plush purple velvet. The rooms are well appointed with seating around the walls, mirrors so you can watch yourself singing and a huge screen for the video and words. Each room has its own bathroom and DJ, who will help you with song choices. There will generally be something in English, with song choices in Khmer, Korean and several other languages.

If you really don’t want to sing, they can play music, turn on the disco lights and you have your own ready-made nightclub.

Generally, you will either pay for a box of beer, or for the room, or both. Ask to see a manager who speaks English and negotiate a price.

The snacks are generally expensive, but you only pay if you open them.
Crack a beer, choose a song, pick up a mic and party!