A Travellerspoint blog

Sihanoukville's Slum Kids

sunny 33 °C

Last week I met a Khmer English Teacher, after a small chat, he invited me to go and see the poorer side of Sihanoukville.

So, we head off in the afternoon armed with pencils, books, notepads & crayons. We leave the bustling city center, drive down the Main road, past the Night market, finally arriving at a grim looking dirt track.

After a bumpy ride, trying to not hit a cow or a stray dog, we arrive at the end of the road. We get the crayons and pens out, and 20+ children come rushing out of the shacks, curious about their surprise visitors. They smile and thank us, many of them starting to draw a picture or write a story.

A crayon and a piece of paper is a beautiful thing in Cambodia, it brings smiles to childrens faces, hope to the poorer children who can't afford clothes, let alone an education.

The people here live in Handmade shacks made out of pieces of plastic, wood and tin. Their main source of revenue is fishing and catching anything edible. Life is harsh for these people, living hand to mouth, barely surviving on their meager salary.

My Khmer teacher friend informed me that most families living in the slums survive on less than a dollar a day.

We left the children to play with their new found crayons, promised to come back the next day. On the way home, I felt happy but frustrated at the same time.

Once you start scratching at Cambodia's surface many injustices appear. The Khmer elite couldn't care less about these people and are content to let them live in squalor whilst they drive by in their Air conditioned 80.000$ LandCruiser, whilst their poorer fellow countrymen are starving.

Ill upload the photos tomorrow, so keep checking out the blog.

Love Peter

Posted by PeterError 01:23 Archived in Cambodia Tagged children cambodia sihanoukville carryoncambodia khmer_elite Comments (0)

Khmer Police

My first bribe

sunny 34 °C

After a nice drive in Sihanouk's countryside, I head back to the guesthouse. To get there I need to go thru downtown, so Driving the best I can, I stop at the first red lights. We were 3 of us 1 car and 2 tourist on a moped. Red turns to green and we set off , 100m later the police stops me and the other moped.

We stop, talk a bit, laugh and smile with them, until they ask us for a driving license (None of us had one), Then the other police guy asks us for 15$ each.

We laugh and haggle a bit and get it down to 4$ each.

So there you have it 5 minutes and 4$ later I set off back to the guesthouse only a block away.

When I told the story to the barman he laughed his head off. - "Just tell them you come from this guesthouse and they will leave you alone"

The owner of the guesthouse is high up in the policeforce, just the name of the guesthouse and the rental receipt suffice to get you off the hook.

Lesson learned.

See you soon.

Posted by PeterError 02:04 Archived in Cambodia Comments (0)

Cambodians love their beer

Angkor what ???

sunny 27 °C

In Cambodia, the logo "My Country, my Beer" is everywhere you go. It is the logo of the National Cambodian Beer Angkor beer.

Brewed by Cambrew in Sihanoukville. Cambodian beer I here you say ? Well it tastes better than any lager Ive tried (except Jupiler - Les hommes savent pourquoi), and it is considerably cheaper too. at 50c a draught beer in a bar, it's dead cheap.

Although the stout is a dying beer in the west, it is still popular round here. Black panther stout produced by ABC beers. Khmer men and women love it.

Cambodians love their beer so much they have to import it, Lao beer, Heineken, Tiger beer...

Interesting fact, in Cambodia there is 3 drinking places for every person. go figure.

For people staying in Sihanoukville, check out the Brewery, situated near the airport. every wednesday they organize a free drinking session from 3am to 8am. you won't get to see the brewery just drink the stuff free of charge.

Updates coming soon

Achoon trang

Angkor beer

Angkor beer

Posted by PeterError 23:18 Archived in Cambodia Tagged beer cambodia angkor Comments (0)

Jon & Kylie's Unofficial Khmer Wedding

sunny 33 °C

A few days ago, whilst enjoying a beer on the beachfront, a guy called Nick asked me if I wanted to go to a Khmer Wedding. I immediately accepted (free food, beer and khmer women). During the conversation I also became the official photographer. (He was desperate ^^)

So here are the photos of their magical day

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Khmer Monks getting ready for some serious chanting

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Flowers, Incense and Holy water

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The local beach vendors - Bridesmaid for a day

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Jon & Kylie - The happy couple

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Khmer Musicians

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Bling Khmer wedding shoes

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The Hair cutting ceremony

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Service with a smile

Posted by PeterError 23:44 Archived in Cambodia Tagged wedding cambodia khmer sihanoukville thecove Comments (0)

Weird Khmer food

Rotten Fetus and other mouthwatering delicacies

semi-overcast 26 °C

If you want to try real khmer food whilst in Sihanoukville, head down to the NightMarket next to GoldenLion. street vendors and small outdoor restaurants cater for khmers & Westerners alike. From the traditional khmer A Mok Curry to fried noodles with fresh seafood, they is an extensive choice.

Now if you like weird and bizarre food, you will definitely find something to your (dis)liking.

So here is my story, after a couple of drinks a few of us headed down to the Nightmarket to grab a bite, on the way to the curry stall we saw a small vendor, selling very weird food. He had deep-fried rolled up snake, deep fried spider & rotten duck foetus.

So we tried the snake, and it tasted like chicken. skipped the spider (can't blame us you should of seen it) and after a couple of glasses of rice wine we decided to order a Duck foetus. The owner was so impressed I don't think we paid for the egg. So we opened the egg and the smell of it was revolting. the putrid smell of rotten flesh. We took a bite and it tasted like liver.

Nonetheless, I would not recommend these delicacies.

If brave enough try it out just ask for Balut, its cheap and full of protein.

Balut or rotten duck fetus

Balut or rotten duck fetus

This is the back of the hotel, I must admit it's not the ritz but for 5$ a night you don't get any better. Walk down the alley anytime of day, and tuktuk drivers will spot you a mile away. As far as the Xpats are concerned Sihanoukville has the most insistent tuktukdrivers. They will attract your attention in any way possible. -Where you go ? - Tuktuk sir ? - Maybe later mister ? - Motorbike sir ?

Then comes the negotiating. (Never get in a tuktuk before asking the price. Always haggle beforehand)

- How much to ATM ?
- 2$
- 2$ you're a crazy Man, 50c good
- 50c nooooooo 1.5$
- 1.5$ no, I walk (Give him 5 seconds)

- Mister Mister Ok Ok 1$ good ?
- Ok (End of deal takes 15 seconds and you've got enough to get back)

Not so glamorous alley at the back of hotel

Not so glamorous alley at the back of hotel

Posted by PeterError 23:48 Archived in Cambodia Tagged cambodia tuktuk sihanoukville carryoncambodia balut weird_food haggling Comments (0)

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