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Malaysia and Cambodia


This is about my upcoming trip to Malaysia and Cambodia. The first part is pre-trip - information about flights, itineraries, accommodation and all the things that you need to do to plan an overseas holiday. This is my first trip to Asia and I hope it may help others. Comments are very welcome and anyone who has travelled to Malaysia and/or Cambodia, please feel free to comment and offer any advice or tips that you think would be helpful. As of today ( 28th February) , in exactly 11 days (minus 30 minutes) I will be in Kuala Lumpur.

I had the most amazing time and hope you enjoy reading about my trip. Each post is numbered and I'm doing them in order from start to finish - a little like a diary.



55. From Temples To Breakfast

In The Middle Of The Morning

After witnessing the glorious sunrise at Angkor Wat and spending some time around the area, I walked back, found my driver and said I was ready for breakfast. He seemed surprised that I wanted to go back to the guesthouse. Maybe others usually just continue on with the temple visiting and eating breakky along the way. Anyway, I hopped back in and as we made our way back to Siem Reap, enjoyed the wonderful sights on the way.

Building Design and Architecture

Above: Architectural Styles
a) Top left is the Angkor National Museum which I thought looked striking. The minaret type domes and the pillars at the arched entrance combine to add a certain flair.

b) If it weren't for the fancy gold detail and Siva with Nandi on the front gable, and the Malaysian flag, you could be forgiven for thinking this building on the right was photographed back home in Australia, or indeed any number of countries.

c) The BBQ buffet and Picnic Station is just before the Museum and had I had time, I'd have gone there for a meal.

d) D'mouj is a handcraft and carpet gallery which specialises in hand-made South Asian crafts and objects d'art. The building reminded me of similar ones down on the Mornington Peninsula at Sorrento. (A seaside holiday place in Victoria)

What I found fascinating was such a diverse style of architecture in Siem Reap which is really quite a small place. It all adds to the atmosphere - modern, architectural brilliance alongside humble, timber sheds and market stalls with corrugated iron awnings and colourful umbrellas and canvas verandah shades.

Food, Glorious Food!
I loved the colourful shops and road stalls with their colourful umbrellas and striped awnings - they seem so full of life and have that special something which is sometimes lacking from western countries. It's Joie de vivre come to life.

Above: Local Shops and Vegie Stalls

a) The lass in the top left photo is washing some green vegetables, and no, I couldn't quite see what they were,

b) Next door are what appear to be pineapple, Svay prum`saen, a type of tropical mango and Svay Kchei (baby mango) which is used for snacks and pickles and Lahong Kchei (green papaya).

c) Here we have cigarette machines - two of them, and an assortment of dried and packaged goods along with the inevitable bottles of water. Just about all food type shops sell water. The stall keeper has removed her lilac crocs and is resting her feet while she takes a break.

d) An assortment of different goods are on offer from fresh fruit to cooking pots and baskets.

Have Wheels Will Travel
It was such fun seeing all the modes of transport. You may recall I mentioned in an earlier post that bicycles and motor bikes are the main method of travel here in Siem Reap.

a) Below is my (second) tuk tuk driver - Mr. Zolar. On his tuk tuk are written the words "Zolar Power" (solar power) which is across from where I was sitting. Like my other driver, Zolar was also pretty nifty at passing slow coaches along the way. "Slow coach" is slang for someone who is moving at a snail's pace - in other words, going too slow! In this photo we had just arrived back at Two Dragons.

Above: Local Transport
b) The photo on the right (top row) is one of my favourite - it shows the marvellous street scenes that are to be found here. A dad taking his daughter to school - no helmet of course, (most passengers don't wear them), in her school uniform and pretty pink and red backpack. A man on his bicycle with an assortment of goods for sale - brooms, bamboo rods, feather dusters and cleaning products, and the inevitible tuk tuk, this one with bright red upholstery. If you look closely, you will see a lady in the far right wearing a hat and scarf around her face, her feet enclosed in gumboots. She is one of the numerous people employed to keep the streets clean.

c) And here we have - The Local Coppers! Yes, it's a Police truck in a brillant shade of red. I thought it was a fire truck at first (all the fire trucks in Australia are red) and was delighted to see this Police vehicle. Police vehicles in Australia are white with blue stripes.

d) Easy Rider - bikes, bikes, bikes. If you take a closer look at this photo - see the blue sign in the rear of the photo on the right? Well, that's where my guesthouse is located - you turn left up that street and it's on the right hand side just a few doors down. I came to recognise the blue sign you see, so if I had had the time to stroll around town, I wouldn't (hopefully) have become lost. Just look for the blue sign. It's an ATM sign btw and just up from here is a local supermarket. (I didn't know about the supermarket at the time because, as I said, I didn't have enough time for walking in town. I only realised there's a supermarket here after looking at my photos!)

Back at my guest house, there is a food stall just opposite which has chickens hanging up outside and the aroma of cooked chicken was nostril-twitching.

Above: Dinner!
This black rooster was running around outside that chicken place acrosse the road from the Two Dragons, and this was the only shot of him I was able to get. He may think he's cock of the coop, but I feel sure he will one day end up on someone's dinner plate!
Coq au vin, anyone?

Breakfast In Cambodia - Please Sir, I Want Some More
I loved the local food and was determined not to eat western food while I was in Asia, but I couldn't quite come at eating rice, noodles or pancakes for breakky. (Breakky is a slang Aussie word for breakfast.) The breakfasts on offer at Two Dragons had bacon and eggs on the menu and this I decided I could not do without. (I just love a good breakky of bacon and egg)

Above: Breakfast
On the breakfast menu was "Two Dragons Breakfast" which from memory included a few eggs, four rashers of bacon, several sausages, mushrooms (I think) and several pieces of toast.
Then there was "Mini Two Dragons Breakfast" - two eggs, two (Or was it four) rashers of bacon - a smaller version of the first one.

Lastly we had "Small Two Dragons Breakfast" - this was the one I ordered. (I forgot to take a photo, so have used this one instead). I thought two eggs, two rashers of bacon and two toasts would be all that I'd be able to eat. Cost was $2.95 and when it came, I saw that the bacon was over-cooked and dry looking and all shrivelled up. I thought Oh, how disappointing. I was so disappointed, but, of course I couldn't complain - that would have been rude.
But...let me tell you - that bacon was the most beautiful bacon I have ever eaten. The taste was wonderful I have never had bacon as delicious as that bacon I ate at Two Dragons, and I've eaten bacon many times in many places. I loved the taste, the texture so much, I very badly wanted to say to the girls, "Please, could I have some more?" I was reminded of Oliver in Charles Dicken's tale Oliver Twist saying at the parish workhouse, "Please Sir, I want some more."!

I can almost taste that bacon now and I find my mouth salivating at even the thought of it. When I go back to Siem Reap, I will definitley be eating bacon - and next time, I'll ask for a plateful of it. Yum.

What's With All The Tea Leaves?
After my delicious breakfast, I decided to try some Chinese tea. I had had Chinese tea at the Chinese Garden of Friendship when I was up in Sydney last year and really liked it. When the girl brought it to me, I sat looking at it. There was this lovely china "thing" with no handle and a lid. I lifted up the lid and saw - stacks of tea leaves. I sat looking at it, wondering how the heck I was supposed to drink it without getting a mouthful of tea leaves. This was a major problem. A mouthful of tea leaves wasn't my idea of a nice hot cup of tea.

So - I sat. And looked. And thought. And looked. As if by looking inspiration would suddenly dawn.☺ I didn't want to ask (I thought they'd think I was a bit of a dill if I did that). The girl came over and asked if everything was alright? Yes, thank you I'm just having a bit of a rest.

Finally, I re-lifted up the lid and gingerly tried to move the tea leaves to one side, it was then that the idea of maybe, just maybe, the tea leaves lifted out somehow. It did. What a dill I was - the whole thing came out, as you can see below.
Above: Chinese Tea
The tea holder (on the right) lifts out of the cup. I was so glad I hadn't asked or said anything - I'd have felt a right Royal fool. I did in fact feel like a right Royal fool anyway. I'm laughing as I write this - as if you'd be served tea and be expected to swallow the leaves. Well, we live and learn eh? So - should you ever find yourself presented with an unfamiliar tea cup, just lift the caddy thing out.

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