Google Translation

Monday, February 8, 2010

Cambodia 1.15 & 16 - Part 1: Silk Farm, Phsar Leu Thom Thmey

Bunlong picked us up at 8:00 AM.  We were happy to see Bunlong. We missed him yesterday.
Because of the planning mishap, we used up all three days of our temple pass yesterday.
(I did not realize that Banteay Srey and Kbal Spean were part of the Angkor Park pass.)
So we did not have much planned for today.

We decided to check out the Silk Farm which was about 20 minutes outside of Siem Reap.
A staff member gave us the free tour.  The tour was really educational; highly recommended for families.

After the Silk Farm, we headed back to Siem Reap.  We invited Bunlong to breakfast at Moloppor Cafe. (I read that it had the best cashew milkshakes.)
Moloppor was a Japanese style cafe by the river.  The cashew milkshake was a lot richer and creamier than the one that I had at Khmer Kitchen the first day.

We told Bunlong about the amazing trip we had yesterday.  I asked him if Cambodians followed lunar calendar like Chinese people since we saw so many weddings yesterday which I thought was unusual.
Bunlong told us that one or two days before the new moon were usually very popular for weddings.
We chatted with Bunlong like we were old friends.  He spoke the best English among the guides & drivers we encountered. 

After breakfast, we spotted the roadside vendors selling grilled bananas & bananas with sticky rice wrapped in banana leafs along the river.
It would be my last chance to sample the street food and I must try it.
I loved the grilled bananas and Hans enjoyed the bananas with sticky rice.

Local food markets have been on my "must see" list wherever I travel.
They were always fascinating to see and were always one of the highlights of our trips.  So, it was to Phsar Leu Thom Thmey (New Market) next!

The new market was the main traditional market for the locals.  We wanted to come in the morning to see the hustle and bustle, but Bunlong told us it was too crazy in the morning.  He was right.  When we got there around 11:30 AM, it was still a lot to take in.

The shock value of this market was beyond words.  First of all, the market was very big.
You could find anything and everything in the market:  fresh produce, meats & seafood under the hot sun, herbs & spices, jeweleries, clothing, hair salons, food courts....

Butchers were cutting meats and hanging them on the hooks; fish were being de-boned on the dirty floor.  To preserve without the refrigeration, meat was being marinated or made to sausages and seafood was smoked, salted, or made to some kind of pate.

There were all sorts of unfamiliar strong smells in the air.  The roads were filthy.
Trucks or push carts were honking and fighting their ways through.
A little boy was peeing next to the food stand.

 It was sensory overload after awhile for me.  If you visited Chinatown in Manhattan at a hot summer day and thought it was bad, this was a thousand times worse.
I had to wonder if all the yummy food we had in the restaurants the past few days came from this market.
If they were, then we were very lucky not to get sick. 

After we got out of the New Market, we were ready to go back to the hotel for the afternoon break. 

For the past few days, we always passed by a building where there was constantly a very long line of local families by the roadside.
On the way back, I asked Bunlong what yhr line was for.
He told us it was local families waiting to see doctors at the Angkor Children's Hospital that provided free medical care to local children.   

Previous: Cambodia 1.14 - Part 2: Kampong Khleang & Photo Album
Next: Cambodia 1.15 & 16 - Part 2: Sun eclips, Khmer Taste Restaurant, Siem Reap & Photo 

No comments:

Post a Comment