Thursday, 10 May 2012

After Toul Sleng Phnom Penh May 3rd 2012

Back to base..Bad ass meal

Back towards base which should be quite easy to find since most roads will intersect street 108 at some point. The main road up towards there is the Monivong Boulevard, again easily intersected by navigating side streets in a zig zagging fashion. Contrasting characteristics these side streets. French, colonial style villas each side, whilst the next might be full of garbage, not to mention frequent canals of rather dubious looking water, and with an equally dubious aroma! Monivong, on the map at least looks like the cities main arterial, and yep, the traffic levels here would support that theory. It's also, quite smart, along this section anyway, reasonably clean and lined with boutique shops, a BMW dealership, coffee places, but haven't seen any giant shopping malls here, yet. Talking of coffee places, time for a fix, some of that nice strong Cambodian coffee will go down quite nicely, a good rest needed also since this hiking lark is taking its toll on one weary traveller.

Street 108 at last, and thankfully each property has a number. Pavements become the domain of cars and motorbikes, whilst corners see an informal dining society springing up  from about 4.30pm. Now very much used to sharing the roads with traffic, negotiating around vehicles half on, half off, and actually there isn't that much traffic now anyway so it's not as precarious as one might think. Back at base and it's definitely a shower before venturing out for another attempt at an evening meal.

Sticking to my 'eat with the locals' theory, I settle on what seems a moderately busy place. It's a cafe that has spilled out onto surrounding pavements. Nothing I have seen in PP has given me the confidence to eat local delicacies, and mindful of the fact I'm on a 5 hour bus ride tomorrow, probably without a toilet, fried noodles with vegetables sounds a safe bet. A plate full of noodles duly arrives for £2, about the going rate for PP. Just one look at this and it's clear I have a plateful of instant noodles - the stuff we get in the UK, you know, that chemical concoction the government insist is good enough to eat! A mouthful confirms that I have a plate of garbage swimming in oil, but the veggies were nice enough. They want to know why I didn't eat the noodles, but they don't understand and I just walk away. Back at base, hungry and not amused at wasting 2 quid. Next door has a cafe, I can get some chips. Chips arrive, yep, you guessed it, just a handful for about £1.50. So, looks like any good eating around here is going to be in tourists and expats traps at £3-5 a shot, and I would suspect in small quantities too. I'm pretty sure there must me some good inexpensive grub somewhere in PP, but where? I'm not inclined to hang around and search for it though.

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