Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Phnom Penh Part II: The Busiversary

7th Anniversary

And so we spent a significant portion of our seventh anniversary on a bus from Sen Monorom to Phnom Penh. It is possible the seats on Cambodian buses are even smaller than Thai bus seats. Cale and I are not big people, but both our shoulders are slightly to wide for the space provided for the seat and one of us always has to sit to the side or our shoulders overlap during the ride.

When we arrived in Phnom Penh we walked to our guest house (much to the consternation of every moto, tuk tuk and taxi driver in the entire city). Cale had picked out a road on the map near the river that seemed to have a collection of better class guesthouses than the one we had stayed at by the lake. The one in particular he had in mind,
Nordic House, turned out to be just fine and we decided to stay there.

It didn't take us long to notice there seemed to be an underlying theme to most of the other establishments on the street. The
Candy Bar. The 69 Bar. Hmmmm.... Later, at dinner, I read through the Phnom Penh Drinking & Dining guide and discovered that just about ever establishment on our street was a "hostess" bar. Hostess appearing to be the preferred word for ladies who will sit on your lap and giggle and dance with you and probably go home with you (or at least upstairs). Yet in the middle of all these hostess bars stands the Nordic House and very nice, very clean, very well air-conditioned. In general, great.

For dinner we went to the
Cantina, a Mexican restaurant that had been recommended to us by an expat in Sen Monorom. The food was decent. We had been instructed to have the strawberry margarita. It was on the menu, but when we ordered it we were delivered regular margaritas and then told they didn't have strawberry ones.

The next night we went to Phnom Penh India. If the name wasn't an indicator it is an Indian restaurant on the river. It was fabulous. We ordered two starters thinking we would do those first and then order a main to share. Before the starters they brought out the Indian equivalent of chips and salsa (free, unlike the chips and salsa at Cantina). The starters themselves were huge and delicious. When we finished them we were full to bursting and I even had to get the remainder of mine for take-away. We were so sad that we didn't have room for more food that we ordered some naan for take-away too. Just when we thought we were finished and were going to ask for the bill they brought around some sort of tiny dessert item. The waiter came out and set these tiny bowls in front of us saying, "For sweet." For sweet indeed. At first I thought I was looking at a large grape in a sugar or honey sauce. I was totally shocked to put it in my mouth and discover it was some sort of dough item soaked in this sweet syrup (it might have been
this). Whatever it was, it was delicious. If you are in Phnom Penh, I highly recommend Phnom Penh India on the river.

Tune in later to learn how Cale spent that night fighting with Discover card on the phone.

— Sara

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