Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pics from Phnom Penh Day 3

It took some time for me to sift through my photos from the phnom penh trip because I don't know what I did but suddenly most of my pics are saved in raw formats....grrr.....kena la edit dulu before I can actually put it up. Means extra time to edit my over 500 pics. Apa la nasib. I have been so malas lately it has been ages since I last edited my photos....tau tau load je. 

Plus my lappy have been super slow lately. Perhaps its netbook functionally is not up to my superspeed search requirements and whatnot, now that I am using it for more than just blogging. I have been contemplating on a mac, but then I am still not sure whether the cost will outweight the benefits. 

See...I digress. Sabar sket. I am saving my edited photos so it might take a while.

Lets talk about Day 3. 

Actually nothing much on day 3 because it was raining on and off the whole day. I hit the Olympic Market where they have endless supplies of lace, cotton, silk and the likes and spent almost the whole morning bargaining on lace and silk. Sorry, no photo of the place because its like a textile warzone at that place. Berkodi-kodi kain....half way I got a massive headache trying to sift through the likes from the no likes. But I was blessed, I found a lot of likes....and its beyond what I have expected, so I came back with a loot. 


To those who are interested to go for a textile hunt in Phnom Penh go straight to Olympic Market, like all markets they have more than textile, but the kain yang berkodi-kodi tu is at the first floor, so just take the stairs up and skip the "where the hell are all the silk and lace?" confusion I had when I first got there. Tuk tuk cost a bit extra because the place is a bit off from the central area - its USD3 per head per way. Anything beyond that just walk away and get another tuktuk. There is always excess supply of me.

By the time I reach my hotel from the market its was almost 2pm, and the weather is showing signs of rain. So I freshen up and decided to post my postcards at the nearby post office (its near Wat Phnom)  and decided to just chill at a local cafe near the post office till the rain is over.

The rain ended at 6pm. On my way back, I stopped for cheap foot reflexogy ( stressing cheap - USD4 for an hour) and walk slowly back to the hotel for dinner.

Okay. Now dah abis save, Enjoy the pics!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

On trying to not be so serious and still getting things done.....

" If a man insisted on always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it" - Herodotus

After a week long break I thought I can open a new chapter and finally start dealing things at work more effectively but as soon as I step into the office things get overwhelming again and I start losing grip of myself. That's been happening a lot lately, and to be frankly speaking its pretty depressing. Of course being positive natured I always tried to see the upside in many things but its kind of difficult to express my situation right now as I am yet again over the edge. At one point, I felt like I am out of control, and all I could do is to go with the flow and get things done as much as possible but yet again a lot of other things tend to creep up and I am yet again sucked in a deeper black hole than before. The thing is I am not alone. I bet a lot of people I know the is feeling the same thing.


I am trying to find a balance here. Something I can work on and grow from there. I suppose I am a bit confuse now, and partly retaliating perhaps, but I am trying to make the best out of it. Its easier if I would have found a way to be more happy about it but somehow repressed emotions don't really work well with motivation levels - in which at the end of the day the lack of motivation does contribute to decreased level of interest and drive.

Sometimes I think I should be more selfish and focus more on my needs but that is not the solution. At some point - like today - I wish there are more hours in a day, more energy and motivation to do things , more peace to do what I need to do - but no matter how I tried the moment I need to clock out there are still countless things that is still undone and piling. Its tiring. And I just got back from a holiday.


Yeah it has not been a good day.

Bear with me. I am trying to let this go. I'm sorry if I what I have given is still not my best but if I don't have the space and time I won't have the means to get what I need to do done. 


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pics from Phnom Penh Day 2

Its been days since my last post but I have been catching up with sleep and rest (and cleaning and stuff) before I start work again so now that I got all those done here it goes, more pics from the Phnom Penh trip.

The first day had been all sunny, and since I was awake since 3am the night before....I took a short stroll over the riverfront, and a quick dinner and call it an early night. By the time I get enough beauty sleep it was 10 am the next day and I was hopeful on another bright and sunny day. Big plans....I planned to conquer the whole town in a day and hit the places outside town like the Uodong Hill and Tonle Bati  but hey, it seems like the rainy season is just beginning and the sun was up only till 3pm or so everyday from then it had been raining on and off for the next few days till I leave town.

But hey, I am not left with nothing to do. The town is a shopping haven, which amazed me, because for a town that has no shopping malls at all (okay, their definition of shopping mall is the mini hypermarket.....if you are looking for anything like the MidValley or OneUtama, you might have to wait for a few more years), they have a lot of markets that has practically everything under the sun.

Literally speaking.

So I left my home for the next biggest market in town....the Central Market.

The place is quite easy to find. Its just a few blocks away from my hotel at the riverfront, so I made it on foot which was about 10 to 15 minutes walk. If you are ever walking, wear lots of sunscreen. It may not look that hot, but it was 32 degrees and its very very dry. I have sunburns at the end of the second day just because I underestimated how hot it could be.

By tuk tuk the market should be about 5 mins away and it should cost not more than USD2 per person. Everytime you hire a tuktuk do agree on the price before they send you to a location, you might be lucky and get a cheaper price. Likewise, you might get unlucky and they could charge you more. 

The Central Market has everything you need - from clothing to bags and shoes to accessories ....even cookwares, tablewears and electronics. They even have groceries and a market at the side, so yeah, if you need soap you can get them next to the wet market.

Its much more organised and well lit as compared to the Russian Market and despite the heat, every shop has a working fan and the shop owners are very hospitable in a way that they always try their best to make you at your most comfortable state while you shop at the stalls.

While I was at the market I found a dessert stall in the center of the market and oh my do I have sweet tooth la kan! *grin* Midway I just have to stop there and try out the desserts sold, and I settled with the red ruby which was at the first bowl at the far right corner.

To my surprise there is also pulut durian, lai ci kang and bubur kacang.

Hey hey we are not so different after all. A bowl goes for about 2,000 Riel, that's about RM2.

You do know Cambodia is famous for their precious stones right??? Get ready to be awed with the most dazzling sight in town - the gem gallery!!!!

Okay its not officially named the gem gallery but I named it the gem gallery (in which it should be) because its one of the biggest pool of gem sellers in town and if you're a sucker for stones, silver and gold, get ready to bedazzled with all things glittery....

You can bargain them and get a pretty good price. But before you do so do know how much they cost and how much you are willing to pay to be an informed consumer.


Because you might end up with a lot. Because they are really pretty. Because if you look really closely, they have a few in new cutting edge design that looks just like the ones sold in our jewellery stores in KL.

Just saying.

The market is a big place and you can spend hours at the place - I give myself about 3 hours before I leave for the National Museum.

The National Museum housed the history and cambodian culture, and whats beyond fascinating is their collection of artifacts of prehistoric settlements that we have always been reading in our history books (yes, the ones that tells all about the early people that settles at the Mekong River so and so and so).

That's the entrance of the museum. Sorry peeps, being a museum, no picture taking is allowed except from the inner compound - but it was raining by the time I reach the museum so I opt to not waste money by paying for a camera. Entrance fee is USD2, use of camera at the central museum compound will cost USD3.

Other exciting  stuff you can find is the history of Buddhism and Hinduism. To fully understand the history perhaps its best to hire a guide, who can tell the story of each statue and what it symbolises or signifies.

Okay. I'll stop blabbing now, before everyone starts taking me for a history geek.

The Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda is just next to the National Museum, so skip the tuk tuk and just walk to the place because its really a lovely walk to the palace with all the shady trees surrounding the outer compound surrounding the palace.

I told you I dah sunburn...sigh...

By the time I reach the first gate the rain started pouring. Hard.

I was standing at the palace gates for 45 minutes before it slightly slowed down. When I decided to brave through the rain it was still raining, and I got to the hotel soaking wet.

So I saved the palace for another day.

Stay in tune for day 3 to 5.

Till then!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pics from Phnom Penh Day 1

Everyone must have been horrified sck looking at my face before the take-off...the photo is so not photogenic okay with the orange lighting and all tetiba rasa macam gain weight tahap gila gaban and kulit hitam semacam je....hahahha....anyhow this is one of a more normal me....

Tada!!!!!Yeah hello helo. Sila maafkan muka agak sememeh...its in fact 5am and I haven't slept much all night. Takde makeup lagi!!!! Nak muka lawa cam retis I will have to show you my raya photos.


As I took the morning flight out I am at Phnom Penh super early....because Phnom Penh time is one hour behind KL. The sun was shining and all britey so untul membuktikan keberanian first time meredah an unknown town.....I have braved myself to take the tuk tuk as soon as I relieve my bags in my room at the Paddy Rice motel at the riverfront.

I took the tuktuk the whole day thereafter. In fact I took the tuk tuk everywhere if I am not in the mood to walk. But since I'm thinking of shedding off some weight I walk as much as I can. :)

A tuk tuk ride generally cost USD2 per way, unless you go for somewhere further out of town like the Cheung Uk field (the killing fields) or somewhere slightly off the central area of the Olympic market. They will usually ask for USD3 per ride once they know you are a tourist but don't budge beyond USD2 per way. Pay extra dollar (USD3) if you to Olympic Market.

The tuk tuk drivers are generally very friendly people, and if you want to save cost and cahrter them to bring you around the whole day you can bargain with them the price to do so. There's no fix day charter price, and there's a risk that they might roam around while they wait. I don't day charter because I want to be free to go in and out a place at will, but technically they're everywhere so finding a tuk tuk driver is easy peasy.

My first destination is the Russian Market (oh standard kaki shopping - mesti pergi shopping first!) to check out the bargains that my friend Nina keep on rambling about. The Russian Market is a bit down south of the city so on the way from the hotel to the market I manage to get a quick lay of the land and get a hang of some of the places that I plan to go like...

The Royal Palace.

I still haven't got the chance to go there till today because I spend the sunny part of the day shopping and by the time I'm done it rains.

So not nice photo op. Especially when the garden compound looks so divine from the outside. (oh I know, got stuck in the rain yesterday and manage to stand at the gate till the rain cools I peaked inside. Boleh?).

So here you go. The Russian Market.

Apa ada di sana??

Macam-macam ada. But the Russian Market is well known for clothing and its open day market. You can also get souvie's here at better bargain rate than the Central Market. They have a few rows of shops that sells materials for clothing but if that is what you are looking it for Olympic Market.

What you can really go bonkers for at the Russian Market are the silk pouches and the fashion jewelleries. I got necklaces, earrings and rings - all the funky statement types - at the range between usd2 to usd8 per piece. Each item sold in KL between rm25 to rm80 per piece.

Save mucho mucho grande!

I found a silver jeweller to tailor make me a ring at the market and came back today to pick it up.  


Other than that you can also find tailors here. And if you are the type of shopper that can run through piles and piles of stuff - this is the place for you. 

You will need about 2 to 3 hours here. As soon as you are done the nearest touristy attraction is the Tuol Seng Genocide Museum.

The Tuol Seng Genocide Museum collates Pol Pot's torture history to his Cambodian counterparts. Of course, the place doesn't look much compared to Ho Chi Minh's genocide museum but to tell you the truth, the more you walk through the halls, the eerier you will feel as if the dead is still lingering around. I did not dare to even walk up the second floor, I keep myself in the compounds where there are lots of people because I can literally feel my hair standing up the moment I pass the first block. Some pics to share on my museum visit. Entrance fee is USD 2. You can hire a guide if you want to, they definitely have a lot of stories to tell which is not written on the walls. An alternative is just to linger around areas where there are guides explaining to some mat saleh tourist, heheheh, gila keji.

Some of the buildings are in barb wire to avoid people from running away or killing themselves. The area is a makeshift prison from what was originally a school and is used to torture prisoners of the regime.

And guess what?

One survived!

Meet uncle Bou. 

After the museum it makes a lot of sense to go to Cheung Ek aka the Killing Fields where the regime held mass genecide. The trip is about 45 minutes per way via tuk prepared to pay abt USD10 per round trip and get yourself a mask while you're at it because its freaking dusty.

The entrance fee is USD5 and it comes with a cool visual aids that tells the story of what happened in the field.

Do you know the shrine behind me is filled with skulls? Like more than 9,000 people and still counting worth of skulls? They say when it rains the fields get flooded and from tiem to time bones and remains will sufficed, so they will then gather them to respectably deal with it.

This is one of the many locations of the mass suicides. To preserve the place they build roofs over what was once a big square filled with bodies. Building a gate around them also helps keep people from stepping on it.

It is a grave after all.

The lake at the centre of the field.

Moving forward I found a mass grave filled with friendship bands.

Guess what?

Its a mass grave of women and children killed in the field.

So not cool.

I finished the whole audio though. By the time I'm done at the field its almost 4pm and can't do much by that time coz most of the other touristy places close at 5pm.

So the tuk tuk driver drove me back.

The view of the riverfront from the road adjacent to the Royal Palace. Cantek kan????

Stay tune for day 2.