Life is a journey, I always believe that. And real journey is part of my life too.
I know that you might be confused, I’m back in Thailand now, and I still don’t finish writing about my Japanese trip yet.
But I think I want to write about Cambodia trip before going back to Japan trip, hehe.
Last month I had a chance to go to Cambodia, a country that I never thought about it before ^^. I went there to join “Creative and Healthy Menu Development with U.S. beans” by The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Nov. 22-23), 2018, at Academy of Culinary Arts Cambodia (ACAC). That’s held by U.S. Dry Beans Council.
Ps: if you want to read about the class click here.
Well, I didn’t have much information about it and the only thing that I can think of is the memory from the book “Four Years in Cambodia” by Yasuko Naito that I had read a long time ago.
I know that there are a lot of change, but I still wandered. And I was so exciting to see something new.
We went there by Thai Airway on early flight (7.00 AM), so to save time and my energy, I slept at Novotel Suvarnabhumi as always.
And had my breakfast at the air port.
With only 50 minutes on the plane, we arrived at Phnom Penh. The air port was small, but the immigration process was quick, as long as you fill the form correctly there is no problem.
You can buy a sim card for your phone for using data from the shop in front of the air port (about 5 dollars for data only).
Because I went to join the class, after meeting the driver, we (me and other participant) were ready to go.
The first thing that I saw was traffic jam ^^”, when I looked at the Google map, the hotel (Raffles Hotel Le Royal Phnom Penh Cambodia) was not far from the air port but it took us 40 minutes on the road. But for me it’s a time to see the people and places, and realised that it’s not what I thought.
Compare to Thailand, there are a lot of things that need to develop, but the speed of developing is so fast, I think Phnom Penh will catch up in no time.
The hotel that we would stay is Raffles Hotel Le Royal Phnom Penh Cambodia.
The hotel first opened in 1929 as ‘Le Royal.’ , it’s one of Phnom Penh’s true heritage hotels. The hotel closed after the Khmer rouge victory in the Cambodian civil war in 1975. (Anyway, I won’t talk about history here).
And re-opened in 1997 after restoration and refurbishment program by Raffles Hotels and Resorts.
A wonderful fusion of colonial, Khmer and Art Deco styles, high ceilings and traditional décor giving guests a feeling of yesteryear.
Separate shower/bath in the marble bathroom, and traditional décor.
Most rooms are State Rooms, in the newer wing, with private balconies, my room was pool view room, with air-conditioning, overhead fans and windows that open for fresh air.
After check in, we had a plan for having our lunch before the meeting.
You can travel by tuk-tuk, that can be found easily on the road.
But we preferred Grab (or you can use Uber), as it’s more convenient for us.
The restaurant that we headed for was “La Baab”, it’s not far from the hotel, actually if the weather was not too hot walking there was easy too.
It’s located on the 2nd floor of the old building, that’s not easy to find, haha.
But we arrived here at last!
I think the food was a combination of south east Asia.
The food was good but for me it’s lack of depth in taste.
May be it’s because I custom to the taste of many dishes in Thai style.
But the fried fish was very good.
The staff were nice and helpful too.
With beautiful decoration and serving idea, I still recommended this place.
As I came here to join the cooking class, I didn’t have time for sight-seeing. Most of the free time were using for our meal.
The restaurant that we had our dinner was “Digby’s Bar & Grill”
And it’s not a place for traditional Kmer food, hehe.
The owner is David Chiv, who was born in Cambodia but raised in San Francisco, he opened this place with the idea of bringing a bit of San Francisco to Cambodia.
So, main part of the food was an American style.
The night the we visited was Thanksgiving..
So, we had Thanksgiving dinner.
If you come to Phnom penh and long for American food (it happens sometime ^^).
You can try this place, it located in 34A Street 306, junction with Street 63, Phnom Penh.
The high light of the dinner was sausage plate, with house made sausage.
We’re fulled and it’s time for going back to the hotel.
Our first night at the hotel was quiet, as we had to save our energy for tomorrow class.
We started our morning at Café Monivong in the hotel.
Breakfast Buffet with egg, pancake and waffle stations, breads, pastries and healthy shakes.
The service was great, the varieties for breads, pastries were good.
But the loviest thing was the ambience.
If we didn’t have to rush (we had to participate the class on 9.oo AM), I thought I would be able to enjoy more of the food and the view.
After attending the class, we came back to the hotel on 4.00 PM. It’s a long day, but we already had a plan for this evening.
Kung Oh (form ohhappybear.com), took us (me, and other 4 girls) for touring in Raffles Hotel Le Royal.
Started from the entrance, from open ceilings in the center, small stair to hand painted in Restaurant Le Royal. It is Phnom Penh’s only restaurant serving Royal Khmer cuisine, recipes handed over by the royal family.
One of must visit was the Elephant Bar. It is a city favourite and a popular spot for afternoon tea.
Decorated with old photos, stylish lighting and leather sofas add to the ambience, it’s great place for relaxing.
The Elephant Bar serves renowned Femme Fatale cocktail, a delicious mix of crème de fraise des bois, cognac and champagne that was created especially for Jackie Kennedy, during her stay at the property.
Walking around the hotel, you will see the glass that Jackie Kennedy used in 1967. A glass said to wear her signature red lipstick marks stands proud behind the bar, having been discovered during a renovation of the property.
Anyway, our destination for this early evening was another place.
To tell you the truth, what I didn’t like about this trip was I didn’t have a chance to take a photo as much as I want. As snatch and grab robberies are also regularly reported, I had to keep my camera in the bag -*-, and it’s not easy to take it out on the street.
I hope that the situation will be better in the future, as I want to come back here again (and take more photo too!!!!).
We walked from the hotel to the Rosewood hotel Phnom Penh.
A new 5 stars hotel that opened in Feb. 12, 2018.
At 188 meters high, it offered spectacular views at one of the best sky bars Phnom Penh.
The name of the sky bar was SORA.
You can enjoy cityscape at night or to people watch, relaxing evening after work with friends.
The view was marvellous, but for me the only downside was they didn’t allow using professional camera here so all I could do was taking photo with my old iPhone, haha.
View from Sora sky bar.
After enjoying cocktails (with a load of laugh), we decided to have something to eat.
And it’s just opposite to the Sora, the name of the restaurant is Iza, a Japanese restaurant that situated in Rosewood hotel too.
Because I’m still in love with Japanese Sake. I was not hesitated to try “Kubota Senju Honjozo”. Light body dry sake from Niigata. That I chose to drink it in reishu (cool sake) style.
Again, this place didn’t allow using professional camera, the staff let me take only 2 shots. Anyway, with new friends, delicious sake and a lot of thing to talk (and laugh), I didn’t miss my camera at all.
At 8.00 PM, we walked back to the hotel, but still in the mood for fun.
It’s time to enjoy happy hour (4pm to 9pm) at The Elephant bar.
And I sipped renowned Femme Fatale cocktail, but sorry I’m not Jackie Kennedy, so there was no one here to keep my glass, hehe.
After a long day, with tiredness from laughing ^^ , we thought it’s time for sleeping, as we had to wake up early the next day to take our plane back to Bangkok.
We had a quick (and very early) breakfast at Café Monivong.
I wished I can try all varieties of the bread that they offered, but I couldn’t eat much while I was sleepy.
So, I decided to grab a cup of Latte at the Air port, and yes, it’s time to say good bye to Phnom Penh.
I want to come here again to enjoy more of this city, as I didn’t have much time fro this trip. But for me it’s great opportunity to have a chance to know that it’s not the same as I thought. It’s not a frighting place and people are lovely. So waiting for me, I will come to visit you agin Phnom Penh.
Travel with dailydelicious: My New Journey Cambodia