Daily life, Phnom Penh
Along the banks of the river you may see some locals selling insects from stalls which is quite common in Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. Sorry for the photograph but it had to be taken from a distance as the stall holder objected to her photo being taken. Insects provide tasty snacks fo the locals and although i have tried the grasshoppers on several occasions, and i have thoroughly enjoyed them, i have not plucked up enough courage to try the tarantulas, cockroaches or scorpions. Crickets, ant eggs, water bugs, silk worms, black beetles, locusts or bamboo worms.
Please read through the choices below and decide which insect you may like to taste.
GRASSHOPPERS----very popular everywhere and easy to find. Ideal for curries and stir-fry. As this is the on;y insect i have tried i must say i enjoyed them deep-fried, tasted like deep fried prawns.
LOCUSTS----taste like sunflower seed with a taste of prawn
BAMBOO WORMS----larvae of the grass moth, fried and taste like potato chips
WATERBUGS----huge creatures that are eaten whole after being fried or steamed with spices.
TARANTULA---Very popular and they are bred in one particular town. They are normally cooked in garlic, sugar and salt until they are crispy, but still soft and gooey on the inside.
COCKROACHES----It is said that they taste like dirt but in Cambodia they are bred on a diet of fruit and vegetables which makes them more tasty.
Opposite the Royal Palace along the river is this small shrine which seemed to have some kind of ceremony happening when I was there. You'll also find people selling flowers, birds (which I think are said to bring good luck/your wishes come true when you let them go), and street hawkers.
I have been to Cambodia for 2-3 times now and every time I visit Cambodia, I never forget to order palm wine produced by Confirel.
The first time I visited Cambodia, I was afraid to taste any of the local food, especially on anything that I never had before. But my second time, I was braver and started tasting something different, such as Prohok, sour mango pickle with salt and chili or sour mango with fish sauce .... yum :)
After I visited the Night market, I have introduced to the palm wine, and palm sugar. The first wine I tasted was Pineapple palm wine, which contained only 8% of alcohol. The wine has a little sweetness from Pinepple. It's different from Grapewine in a good way. It's light and fresh, fit well for the lady or whoever do not alcoholic drink.
Another one that I taste was, Jaya, which they called Palm Whisky. Jaya has a great taste for a 40% alcoholic drink. I enjoy it alot.
Next time you visit Cambodia, don't forget to switching your drinking grape wine habit and try palm wine instead. I guarantee you will like it.
You can find palm wine at any supermarket especially in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, at restaurant, mini mart, etc.
Everywhere I visited in Cambodia both Siem Riep & Phnom Penh, I can see similarities in the cultures, day to day living, food and to a smaller extend the religions.
Although Malaysia is a multi-racial melting pot. But similarities were noted on the type of food in the market, the wet market where almost all sellers are women..(As those Malaysian Wet Market in the state of Trengganu & Kelantan). The light desserts very similar to Malay's & Baba nyonya desserts in Malaysia, The Cham's muslim dressing, head gear, and even their language is similar to Bahasa Melayu/Indonsia. For Khmer culture, the Royal Palace ceremonial gears, umbrella & flags having lotsa similarities with the Hinduism practised in Bali, Indonesia.
For those Malaysian visiting Cambodia, it is a must to check those similarities. And for those Malays of Malaysia/Indonesia/Singapore, visiting a muslim Cham's Kampong and ability to communicate with them in Bahasa Melayu/Indonesia will be another interesting activities.
Before I forget...do note also similarities in naming their vilages as "Kampong" and the eating stall "Waroeng"
As Cambodia is one of the poorest country is South East Asia, there are some local customs. E.g. in some places (National Museum) an officer will give you a small flower. Take that flower and put it and small amount of money in a bowl or a plate in front of Buddha. It is a sophisticated means of begging, but we rich tourist can give a few dollars. You don't need to give every place.
Callejeando siempre se ven cosas curiosas e interesantes
Hangging around the streets you may see corious and interesting things
Most of the stray animals looked very sad, but at Rendez-vous Cafe there were two well-fed cats -- definitely in the French tradition!
This is an older photograph purchased at the National Museum that shows how the traditional checked scarves are worn. For a modern version check out the shopping tips!
Life is hard for most Cambodians, but it doesn't keep them from enjoying their children -- and enjoying it when you do too! This little charmer was at "our" laundry.