Friday, 19 April 2013

Phnom Penh, Cambodia and the end of my trip.

The night before I left Battambang Kate and Dani hosted the pot luck dinner as a farewell to me and mum, who was leaving with me for a month in Oz. The dinner was relaxed and yummy and it was a great way to spend my last night in the Bong.

The next morning, ma and I went to Kinyei for one last delicious coffee and to say farewell to Tara before we jumped on the bus to PP.


Arriving in PP we checked into the hotel and went off in search of coffee and dinner. Then it was back to the hotel where we sat on the balcony watching the riverside come to life as the heat of the day gave way to a slightly cooler evening.

The following day it was off to Black Star Tattoo for a bit of Cambo/Korean ink. Charlie, the Korean tattooist met with me to discuss the design then sent us on our way while he brought my idea to life promising to call when he was done.

We wiled away the hours wandering the streets off PP, stopping for cool drinks and coffees at every opportunity, then went back to the cool relief of our air conditioned hotel room once the heat got too much. Around 5pm, I got a text from Charlie to let me know he would be ready to ink at 7pm.

Back to Black Star to check out the design and make a couple of small changes, then it was time for Charlie to get inking.
Step 1: The stencil
Step 2: Charlie doing his thing

Step 3: It's done!
The next day was my last full day in PP, so we rang our tuk tuk driver, Ty to pick us up and take us to the markets to shop for our last minute gifts. The markets were, as usual, busy, chaotic, and HOT! After a couple of hours sweating it out, we found our way to the food section where we sat down for a refreshing iced Khmae coffee, then went in search of Ty who was waiting exactly where we left just took us a while to work out where that was!

Beautiful wood carvings
That night Ty tool us to the other side of the river, where not many tourists go, and took us to a fantastic restaurant. The three of us sat overlooking the river and ate all the delicious food we could eat with constant flowing Angkor beer for the grand total bill of $15!

The restaurant
The view
Ty and Me

Off to "Diamond Island" after dinner and what an incongruous development that is! Diamond Island was developed with Japanese investment funds at great cost to the local community. Over 300 families were forced from their farmland, many of them getting a mere $2 per square metre of land in compensation. They were then relocated a long way from the island which had sustained their families and left to start again. A few families who had not accepted the government's initial settlement price were eventually assisted by USAID to get better deals for their land but were still forced to move away so the development could go ahead. And this is what was built.....

My last Cambodian morning, I sat on the balcony watching the city come to life. It was a relaxing day as I waited for Ty to pick me up and take me to the airport. 


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