After a couple spectacular days in Taiwan, we were welcomed to our hotel in Cambodia, RAFFLES le ROYAL, with iced ginger tea and the friendliest smiles. Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia, and we are staying here for four days.
Our hotel room, on the third floor, is clean, spacious, and quite luxurious. We quickly unpacked our suitcases, which didn’t take very long since the three of us packed three small carry-on luggages.
We headed downstairs, to the hotel restaurant, for lunch. I didn’t have much for breakfast, aside from a peanut butter and chocolate chip LARABAR that I’d packed for the plane ride, so I was very excited about diving into a feast here in Cambodia.
Dad enjoyed the garlicky baked snails and lemongrass beef skewers. They came with small kai-lan vegetables and rice. My grandfather loved his poached ocean salmon, which was served with fresh vegetables and a leek cream sauce. For myself, I didn’t hesitate to order the creamy cauliflower soup for an appetizer, and the mushroom risotto for my main.
My entrée of mushroom risotto was hearty, incredibly rich and cheesy with a decadent Parmesan flavour, and was served with a freshly-grilled slice of focaccia slathered with pesto. I absolutely loved it and would return to this hotel restaurant in a heartbeat.
Dessert was actually a buffet, and I managed to keep my sweet tooth reined in by grabbing just two desserts – a chocolate mousse cake and a slice of kabocha pumpkin with custard.
Afterwards, Dad and I did some exploration. We walked for about a block in the sweltering heat before coming back to the hotel. It was seriously H-O-T, especially after so long in ice-cold Canada. Toronto, in fact, broke a 58 year-old temperature record for it’s -40 degree temperature today.
The pool at our hotel is lovely. I felt so happy dipping my toes into the water, wishing I’d packed a bathing suit.
Dad and I wandered the corridors and balconies, enjoying all the new sights and smells and sounds. We chatted a lot, and before we knew it, wandered back to our hotel room to rest.
For dinner, the three of us hopped onto a tuktuk. According to Wikipedia:
The auto rickshaw is a common form of urban transport, both as a vehicle for hire and for private use, in many countries around the world, especially those with tropical or subtropical climates, including many developing countries. Most have three wheels and do not tilt. An exception is in Cambodia, where two different types of vehicles are called tuk-tuks, one of which (also known as a remorque) has four wheels and is composed of a motorcycle (which leans) and trailer (which does not).
I truly loved the night view in Phnom Penh, especially with all the Christmassy lights and decorations.
Dinner was enjoyed at Malis, a modern, fashionable, trendy, yet traditional restaurant in the heart of Phnom Penh. They serve delicious Cambodian cuisine and are renowned for its fresh seasonal produce, delicate flavours, and wonderful servers.
The three of us ate:
- Kampot Rock Crab Red Curry: Hand-picked Kampot crab cooked in a natural fully-flavoured crab broth with red chilies, red curry spices and coconut milk, served with rice
- Bamboo Shoots and Smoked Fish Soup: A smoky and refreshing vegetable soup made from an age-old Cambodian recipe in which finely sliced bamboo shoots are cooked with baby corn
- Wok-fried Eggplants: Roasted aubergine wok-fried with fresh garlic and a shallot vinegar sauce
- Fish Amok: This traditional dish is made with goby fish fillets marinated in a lemongrass curry paste and steamed in a banana leaf basket
We couldn’t miss dessert.
- Durian Delight: Taro style dumplings cooked in coconut milk and ginger sauce with Num Ko corn and durian ice cream
- Malis Mousse: Jasmine flower infused mousse with hints of Cambodian honey and ginger, circled with fresh seasonal fruits and served with a crunchy rice ‘Kamao Thort’ and coconut ice cream
We were more than full, happy, and satisfied with the meal and the generous servers. In the end, the meal came down to less than $60 USD for the three of us, and we were all stuffed. We hitched the same tuktuk to go back to the hotel.
It’s now 10:20 PM here, and I think I am going to start planning tomorrow’s schedule. Dad vetoed my protests to visit the Tuol Seng Prison and the Killing Fields, as well as the Genocide Museum (boo) but will most likely approve my other suggestions.
These are some of the places that I can’t wait to visit in Phnom Penh:
- Central Market
- Wat Phnom
- Sisowath Quay
- Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda
- National Museum
Thank you for reading today, and I can’t wait to update with more.