Tag Archives: PhnomPenh

Good old Cambodia

21 Dec

Warm Welcome - more than I could handle

I had booked a week in Cambodia to go back in time and re-live good old memories, meeting up with great friends, visiting the familiar places and soak up on the same smile-provoking surreal experiences as before (e.g. drag shows, temple visits, funny food, etc). So there’s nothing really much to report about my stay in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap this time round (but still some nice pics below).

  • It’s like a mesmerising goodbye to my year of travels – ending as I started it…
  • Cambodia is such a damn pleasant place to be (if you ignore some details here and there).

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My computer is alive!

6 Apr
Computer hospital in Bangkok

Computer hospital in Bangkok

I must say Bangkok is the center point of civilization around South East Asia. You need to buy something? You’ll find it in Bangkok. You need to repair something. Go to Bangkok. You need medical care – Bangkok is the place to go.

My computer broke down when traveling in the north of Cambodia. I desperately brought my little baby to all the computer shops that seemed they could maybe fix it without doing more damage than good. But their suggestion was to bring it to computer hospital – either in Phnom Penh or Bangkok. Continue reading

Surreal Cinema in Cambodia

2 Apr
The horror movie of the week poster

The horror movie of the week poster

Once you slow down in traveling and move away from the ‘Lonely Planet’ route (or any other guide), then you start doing things that the locals do – or what I use to do back home in Brussels – like going to the cinema.

But if you think Cinema in Cambodia is a ‘normal’ affair (for me at least) then think again! I went to see a Cambodian film with a Khmer friend. Quite an experience – partly because what was happening on the screen, but just as much observing what was going on in the seats around me…

The khmer films can be divided into two main categories – either the cheezy romantic type OR the horror films. We went to see a horror film – me that couldn’t sleep for 2 weeks after watching E.T. Continue reading

A day or a year in Kep

1 Apr

Beautiful French villas - in ruins

Beautiful French villas - in ruins

Kep is the place where everybody would want to extend his stay to a year. It must be a mix of laid-back-ness, the history that breathes through the ruins of former French colonial villas and the up-and-coming tourism revival. I was here before, and just had to come back to enjoy it to the full – with some surprises thrown in for the same price.

Life is too short to be floating around haphazardly: if you know some places (or people) that are nice, the only clever thing to do is to enjoy them. I adored Kep (South Cambodia), with its lovely sunsets, the relaxed atmosphere and the historic ruins of houses.

Moreover I had found last time a couple of good places to eat, sleep and swim, so I decided to go to the places that I actually liked, rather than adding more and more to the cultural geographical confusion in my head. There’s only so many new places, languages, people and impressions that fit in one’s mind, so I guess I wanted to protect me from overkill. But still I bumped into some lovely new people, drove around the area and crashed a motorbike inthe process… Continue reading

Computer blues

24 Mar
The last time I used my netbook before it died...

The last time I used my netbook before it died...

Is there life without computer & internet?  Why do I blog?

I will certainly have to give internet-less life a try the next 2 weeks as my netbook went into coma last week (so only compact blogging from internet cafes – sorry). One beautiful day I closed it, and it would never come to life again, whatever buttons I pushed, no matter how much I stroked or kissed it, egal what I whispered into its orifices…

I ran around about all the computer shops in Battambang (the second city of Cambodia), even some monks at the computer shop helped me out with some translation, but the verdict was unanimous:

  • a hardware problem – shiiiiiiiit – and the only way of resuscitation would be to go to the head office of the most renowned computer shop in Phnom Penh – or go to computer hospital (Acer service centre) in Bangkok.

I just came back from the computer shop in Phnom Penh and Continue reading

How to survive Traffic in Cambodia

9 Jan
Bus driver's universe...

Bus driver's universe...

Yep, something simple and mundane as traffic deserves a chapter on its own in Cambodia. It is inspired by the Darwin principle of ‘Survival of the fittest’ but also by Tao’s ‘live and let live’. Bottom line is that you should forget any traffic rules you ever learnt and start all over again.

The roads in Phnom Penh are a superb example of organized chaos, or of chaotic harmony if you want. Basically everybody goes and drives where they want to. So how come nobody crashes into each other?

  • See also youtube video: I challenge you to find out which side of the road they drive in Cambodia,  and who has priority over whom at this crossing… Continue reading

Is there Gay life in Cambodia?

5 Jan
A typical Cambodian new year...?

A typical Cambodian new year...?

What happens if you release two gays in their ‘mid-life crisis’ in the middle of Cambodia…? Indeed, they go and explore what’s happening on the gay scene (amongst many other cultural and not so cultural things of course) and secretly hope to find the two arms they’ve always been longing for…

So it was that we booked ourselves into a gay guest house (for which they then ask double the price) Manor House, but the advantage being that they wouldn’t make a fuzz in case you want to be comfortable in those two lovely arms in your own room. Also the gay guesthouses are a good way into the local gay scene, to start off the exploration of the other side of Cambodian society… hermetically hidden from many.

THE bar that was recommended in PP (Phnom Penhp) was the Blue Chilli bar, so we went to check it out. It only took Continue reading

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