Benefits of Fumigation

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Kampot - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Today was a recovery day (not quite a rest day as we were still out and about). We had breakfast at 9am which meant that the kids could have a good sleep in. Simon gave up on the coffee as neither the espresso or the cambodian mug of coffee were to his liking and ordered Lipton tea instead.

We took a walk along the river while it was still cool and wandered down to a fishing village about a km or so from the hotel. It was much more similar to the shack houses we had seen along the Mekong river in Vietnam. In comparison many of the Cambodian houses are much more solid structures made from bricks, concrete and wood which is surprising given that Cambodia is a poorer country than Vietnam. Also surprising is the number of expensive cars on the road. Whilst there are a lot of motor bikes, there are a higher ratio of cars to bikes than we saw in the Mekong delta.

After our stroll the kids and Simon returned to the hotel to relax and I headed off in search of a seeing hands massage. These massages are done by blind people and the man who did mine could certainly feel very knot and got stuck right in. I had foolishly agreed when he asked if I wanted it strong and he certainly delivered. One hour later I was feeling very relaxed and knot free, all for the grand sum of 5 USD.

We packed up our gear, checked out and headed off to find lunch at a little place that an ex-pat had recommended to us for great chicken wraps. And they were really good. She made the wrap from scratch each time so our wraps arrived individually over about a 30 minute period. This was the same place that made the ice cream that we had enjoyed at other locations, so the kids had their favourite flavours whilst Simon tried a cappuccino. I have given up on the coffee and stuck with lime juice.

Back at the hotel we relaxed on the lounges overlooking the river until our car arrived and we set off for Phnom Penh. The driver warned us that the traffic would be heavy as people returned to the city after their one day off. But we made it in three hours as the driver knew the best routes to minimise traffic.

On arrival at the You Khin hotel we were advised that it had been fumigated and we were told to come back in an hour or so. We dropped our backpacks and wondered what we could do for an hour.

We decided to head off to find the river front so that we could promenade along it with the rest of the city residents and tourists. It was heaving. With the river on one side and the lights of the city on the other, it was an interesting walk.

We identified the royal palace and eventually found the night markets which was lucky as we had left the guidebook at the hotel.

Then night market was full of cheap clothes, watches and belts and of no real interest to any of us so we moved through it fairly quickly and found the food stalls at the back. We watched as locals filled up little baskets with their choice of foods, and paid for it to eat straight away or have it cooked.

There were mats laid out on the concrete for people to sit on. We ordered pad thai and sat down, but were told to move as we were on the mats belonging to some other food stall.

We resettled and waited, and waited, and waited.

Finally our pad thai arrived together with some bonus roti as an apology for the time it had taken to cook our meals. The pad thai was excellent and we enjoyed the buzz of the market and the music over the loudspeaker as we tucked in. For dessert we had the most awesome coconut icecream. A full dinner for four for around $10 AUD. And it was all thanks to having to escape the fumigation!

We caught a tuk tuk back to the hotel, and in full bargaining mode we haggled the driver down from 4USD to 2 USD and returned to check in.

The room smelt fine and consists of a separate bed room, two beds for the kids and a small kitchenette. All very pleasant. However the rooms were not completely separated and light came into the main room through louvered windows facing the hallway. The kids said their beds were really comfortable.

Tomorrow we meet up with Davy, our tourism assistant for the day who we arranged to meet following rave reviews on tripadvisor.