Phnom Penh Riverside
I ventured out into Phnom Penh a few times, but only twice with my camera. My favourite place to go turned out to be the riverfront (Say riverside if you want a tuk-tuk driver to know where you mean). This is apparently Phnom Penh’s tourist central. In spite of this I did not hear about it until I met some other travellers and they told me what it was, I did not see anything when I was doing my research/journey planning. Perhaps the internet thinks is too obvious to write about? I guess there are quite a lot of hotels there. Not mine, mine was in a people place.
It has many restaurants, shops, spas and stalls. I really have to say a word about Pizza, Phnom Penh does amazing pizza. There is a legendary pizza place spoken of only in whispers whose name cannot be remembered by anyone, especially me. The Italian owner was rumoured to have flown out a pizza master from Naples to train its staff. I don’t think I ate there, but the pizza I had in Phnom Penh was still the best pizza I ever tasted.
The riverfront is also very pretty. I learnt on my fishing trip that Cambodians are free to fish anywhere they like (no rod licences and hefty fines like where I am from) therefore fishing persons can be spied fishing and hanging out in their boats. People may also be observed collecting the leaves of water plants, presumably for food? And finally men can also be seen using the river as a urinal. That’s not so pretty. People also join exercise groups, play sports and generally enjoy themselves.
There is a large temple and a fair few interesting buildings around the riverfront. A few areas really feel like parks. This contributes to the laid back innocent vibe the riverfront has, only punctuated by crazy traffic and taxi drivers offering mysterious and secret substances/services. Who knows what that’s about? The writer, vegetarian and the poke player had an amusing anecdote about trying to buy some marijuana and ending up with $15 worth of loose leaf tea. So perhaps the man knew another tea dealer?
The night market is worth a look around too. It mostly just sells clothes and clothes shopping saddens me, but it also has food and souvenirs. I took some pictures below.
I also went to Friend’s restaurant; this place has great food and a lot of great staff members. This is because it operates as an NGO helping former Cambodian street youth towards a better future. I went because I heard that they served deep fried tarantulas. I really wanted to take my husband there to try them because he ‘loves’ spiders, so much. He and spiders are like this *twisty finger gesture*. Unfortunately, It seems that they no longer serve them there, but its sister restaurant still does. Instead we had deep fried ants with beef, salad, rice and crusty bread, which was lovely.
It turns out red ants taste pretty good. I would have eaten them even if they had not because I was badly bitten by hundreds of the little bas…kets as a child. It was a personal vendetta. Just goes to show, I always get my revenge. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe in over ten years’ time. But I will eventually come for you. You know who you are. *sinister look*