Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bike Riding In Kampot and Phrom Penh makes a Turn Around

Riding a bike around Kampot is one of the most pleasurable things ever. It is just a wonderland of real beauty where you are biking through rice fields and small huts, lily fields, and various shades of colors.  Oh how I loved it and I did not want to go back to Phrom Penh, but I had to for the flight leaving Monday morning.
Note to self: Go back to Kampot and Kep! I missed out on Kep with the fresh crab and pepper farms, but there will be another time as I should have left more time for this area of Cambodia.
On the bus, I am like a little kid with a box of crackers, some juice, and looking out the window-I am super content.
As we get back to Phrom Penh, I start to mentally prepare myself for the chaos, noise, and pushy tuk tuk drivers.  I get off the bus and again I have ten drivers come up to me. The one who speaks the best English wins with me so I chose one guy and told the rest to leave me alone. When you have a crowd around you and you are addressing many different people, it is easy for someone to distract you and take something so I stay focused on just one tuk tuk driver. He takes me to the backpacker hostel, which I find all the tourists.  We go from one place to the next and many are full. I just have him drop me off and I decide to walk around and look for a hostel later.  I finally discovered the nice area of Phrom Penh that everyone talks about and I realized that I was staying in a bad area. After asking all those people my first time in Phrom Penh, noone could tell me about the tourist area-really?
I was thankful to have found a nice beach front looking area that reminded me of Miami a bit. I went to my favorite spot, Blue Pumpkin for a coffee and almond croissant.  I sat on the balcony and watched a group of people engage in aerobics. 
After my stop, I decided to walk along the river and running towards me I saw two familiar faces.  As they approached, I realized it was the couple I met in Laos.  The nice couple from New Mexico who used to work at Trader joes and sold their America life for traveling the world. They say how much they like Cambodia over Laos and I agree that Cambodia is much better as well.  We part ways and I decide to walk past the Royal Palace and head to the Independence monument. I stop a local on motor bike and he offers me a ride to a good hostel in town.  I see the Independence monument and the park and realize that this area of Phrom Penh is nice! He gets me over to a nice hostel that is $5 a night and I am lucky to snatch the last room.
 I change and head out to the streets planning for a nice massage and to eat at Warung Bali- a top rated Indonesian cuisine restaurant. The massage place was a little on the expensive side, but I decided to treat myself and oh my it was worth it! The Cambodian girl was beautiful and the guy who sat next to me was totally cute ha! After I headed to Warung Bali to find it closed=( I was so disappointed, but my stomach quickly moved on after eating some amazing Khmer curry at the Khmer Saravan restaurant.  I was chatting with the girl outside selling books about her life in Phrom Penh and she reminded me of the girl in my book-smart, sassy, full of spunk, and curious about anything and everything.  She wanted my to buy Part 2 of the book I was reading, but I politefully declined because I had a hard time finishing Part 1 because it is so graphic and just too sad to read.  
She goes off to bother another table of Australians and I chat with my waiter.  The restaurant closes up and he gives me a ride back to my hotel.  I am happy he gives me a ride because the streets in Phrom Penh scare me at night.  Til tomorrow!

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