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Being vegan in Phnom Penh

6 Sep

In quite a few countries being a vegetarian traveller is tough. To top this, being an Indian vegetarian traveler (one who doesn’t eat any kind of eggs, fish, sea-food or meat) is even tougher. While it’s a challenge to get food, its even more difficult when people don’t even understand what we eat. Hence when we planned our Cambodia trip, we were very mentally prepared that we will not get any food. However we were pleasantly surprised to find these two really nice places that served tasty “vegan” food to us.

1. Boddi Tree Umma (http://www.boddhitree.com/) – This is a small restaurant just outside the Tuol Seng Museum. We went to this place for lunch and by then had pretty much lost our appetites (after seeing the sights of torture in the museum). However this place just pepped us up – both with the ambience and the food. This place is named after a tree under which Buddha “saw the light” and has a beautiful courtyard seating as well as an indoor seating. This was started in 1997 and supports Khmer kids and families in difficult situations. They have a good selection of curries and sandwiches and the price is very reasonable. We tried the Cambodian curry and fried rice, which were super tasty and we were so busy eating that we just missed taking pics of the food 😦

Boddi Tree Umma

Boddi Tree Umma

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Photo Essay – Sunset on the Mekong

4 Sep

In my previous post that I had written about our cruise and life on the Mekong river –  http://wp.me/p29z7S-ix  . However during this cruise we also managed to click some pics of the setting sun and it’s amazing colors. I am sharing the same in this post –

1. Contemplating –

Sunset and the silhouette

Sunset and the silhouette

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Photo Essay – A cruise on the Mekong river

29 Aug

On our trip to Phnom Penh we booked and went on a short cruise on the Mekong River, to see the ways of people who make a living on this vast river.

There were a couple of options available for a cruise, like you can visit some other local islands that are only linked by ferries, or the silk island (this is extremely touristy), or a normal 2 hour cruise, etc. We just booked a regular cruise as we didn’t have much time and we were on a budget; but this too was super fun. This river was also quite a bit of a surprise to us. For starters, it is huge more like a sea than a river and this size was just in the dry season so I fail to imagine how it will be after the rains. Additionally, we learnt a lot about the local life on the river here and below is a glimpse of the same through a black & white lens.

1. There is an entire community here that lives on boats as the one in the pic below and fish for a living. They only dock for selling the fish, going to markets for shopping and to the places of worship. Else the entire families live on the boat.

The house boat on the Mekong river

The house boat on the Mekong river

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Photo Essay – Trees of Cambodia

25 Aug

In Cambodia we saw numerous beautiful and old trees and flowers. I have already posted about the flowers at http://wp.me/p29z7S-i3, and this is a short photo essay on the various trees that we saw here.

While Cambodia is also seeing its fair share of deforestation, there are still numerous old trees around the temples and in some surviving jungles. These old trees have also created some unique shapes and backdrops, which I am sharing with you.

The tree with a face

The tree with a face

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Photo Essay – Beautiful Flora of Cambodia

20 Aug

During our Cambodia trip, we had a great time exploring the 2 beautiful cities of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. But along the way we also discovered that this country has some beautiful trees and flowers especially around the old temples of Siem Reap. While I’ll post a separate posts on the various trees, below is a small photo essay of the various flowers that we saw.

While I know the names of some flowers, I don’t know the names of quite a few. Hence any botanists here, please feel free to drop comments and advice.

water cabbage

water cabbage

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Crossing the road in Phnom Penh

19 Aug

Though I come from India, I will still say that the traffic on the roads in Phnom Penh is quite notorious. It is predominantly in the form of bikes / motor bikes and they do not follow any traffic rules. Hence crossing the roads here can be quite a nightmare. You have to keep looking in every direction (at any given point in time) as traffic can attack you from any side. It is like crossing a road filled with a herd of bullets and you are trying to cross in various matrix like postures. 🙂

Anyway, here the traffic signal is the best of all. When the man is red he is stationary, but when he is green he is actually running. Seems to me that the message is – Dont stop, or look around, just run for your life. 🙂

Enjoy the video of this traffic signal –

Top 5 must visit shopping places in Phnom Penh

11 Aug

Shopping in Phnom Penh is a must indulge in activity as you get to interact with loads of locals (despite not being able to communicate with many of them it’s still fun to interact with them), shop for some innovative local stuff and get to experience another aspect of this gorgeous and vibrant city. Though there are no malls here, there are still loads of small stores, chic boutiques and in some instances loads of shops aggregated in a building. However there are some ground rules to be followed here, else you will be in danger of loosing an arm and a leg (in terms of price paid for the stuff bought) –

  1. First, never believe the first price quoted by the shop keeper. It will always be an inflated price.
  2. Second, never buy jewelry or any jewels from here (unless you recognize originals from fake) no matter how big a steal it seems. 99 out of 100 times you will be fleeced.
  3. And most importantly, Bargaining is a must (it happens even in supermarkets and shops). Practice bargaining before you set foot into these shops as at times the prices are inflated as much as double the original price.

We spent a good half a day shopping and learning more in this city. The top 5 places that are worth a visit here are –

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