14 January 2014

Phnom Penh, Cambodia - Day 2

Woke up early to make our long journey to Kampung Cham. We made a few stops in the outskirts to buy candy and snacks for the village kids we were going to meet. We also changed our money there, I think it was 10USD for 10,000 riel (I have to check on this again!). There was so much money to hold on to! The smallest denomination in Cambodian riel is 100 riel, which is valued at 10 cents (since there are no coins in Cambodian money).


The outskirts of Phnom Penh
ACCAM, the association we worked with :)
The trip took about 2-3 hours on a chartered mini bus. I mostly slept along the way (I sleep wonderfully on vehicles- I love it) but woke up a few times. There was also a time when we stopped along the road to buy some mangoes.

Inside our bus..
Mango eaten with a salty, spicy condiment

The scenery along the way was just miles and miles of wet paddy fields. It was kind of a nice change seeing open lands like that after living in an area literally surrounded by valleys. Paddy fields and blue skies stretch as far the eye can see. If you are into scenery photography, you would appreciate this place d(^_^ )

When we reached the village, it was an endless scene of paddy fields and palm trees. We had so much coconut while visiting the villages we became coconut connoisseurs by the end of the trip (^-^)_日

Talking to the villagers..

Giving goodies to the kids :)

Parting gift~
After finishing the qurban activity and charity-giving, we then moved on to another village which was more dense with greenery. Here we spent more time because the qurban was done in another field located quite a distance away. I got to stay with the women and children in the village and got to have a taste of their life. 

To keep livestock I think..

Example of the house we visited..

There was no running water or electricity (as many have warned me). I had a look into their bathroom - the toilet was a single unlit concrete shed with a squatting toilet and there was a separate, larger shed with a concrete tank to collect water. It was just as dark, even with the door wide open and sunlight pouring in. I could not see what was in the water at all which scared me to death (dark waters are my fear), but I braved myself to take come to wash my face. It was not that bad....until I saw something in the corner of my eye.

Spider in the bathroom
I am very confident this was the spider I saw in the bathroom. Photo source here.

And that was the end of my experience in a village bathroom in Cambodia
( ̄□ ̄;).We then visited the house of one of the villagers. It was amazing- it was at least two storeys high on stilts. You were literally at level with the palm trees surrounding the village. When the cool air blew, it felt heavenly. It also started raining and it got very humid very quickly, so we did as the villagers do - sat by the windows and doors gossiping about the men (¬‿¬)


Lunch by the villagers. They were too kind ( ;_;)

Looking down from the house...

...and looking straight from the doorway.

Front view of the house~

They have a mosque too ( ^-^)

We finally made our way back to Phnom Penh at about 5pm and reached about 7pm. It was dark by then, but we got another hearty dinner =(´▽`)= and made our way back to the hotel for much needed rest.

Dinner! Tom yam and I think five other dishes. We were well fed ♡

Pro tip:

☆ There's WiFi everywhere! You are almost always in touch with your family and friends.
☆ Cambodian cuisine is very sweet and is very vegetable based. Good news if you have a sweet tooth or are a vegetarian.
☆ Cannot emphasise more about booking a table in advance and ordering your food early at a restaurant! I think this especially implies to people with a halal diet, because there are very few halal restaurants and if those are full, it will be very hard to find food.

Stay tuned for Part 3 which will was our sightseeing day!

●Sad history of Cambodia
●Shopping in Phnom Penh ♡

Till next time ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ

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