Sunday, February 12, 2012

Out and About in Cambodia

Nice beach and no crowds
I've been getting out and doing things and have a lot of nice pictures that I would like to share.  Let's see, a couple of us went to Koh Kong for a long weekend and then out to a really nice, very isolated, island and spent the day snorkeling on a reef.  It was like being a guest in an aquarium.  Koh Kong was kind of a dreary place and we walked from the hotel to Pat's Bamboo Bar for dinner one night.  It was like stepping back into the 60s with Jimi and Van Morrison playing and everyone a there looking a little burned out.   Back at the hotel we watched the Australian Open Tennis and that was fun.  The next Sunday back in PP we again watched the finals with pretty boy Raffa against my man Novack in a really great 61/2 hour match at this sports bar with a giant screen.  Not only did Novack win but I made a bet with Amanda that he would and the winner paid for the upcoming trip to silk island. 
The wedding girl, Aka
Sambath and Vinh all dressd up
Showing all of Cambodia how to do the funky chicken
The fun table at last
I went to Aka's wedding and it was really fun.  So different from Pov's.  Aka works at the AK, the wine tasting place, and unlike Pov,  I don't think there is any money in either her or her husband's family.  But it was still a big party.  Everyone was dancing and having a great time.  Me, Diego (from Italy) and Jim (from New Zealand) were the representives from the AK along with Sambath and Vinh who work with Aka.  We didn't get there until after 9 o'clock so we missed all the ceremony but we got up and danced.  All the people there were so nice and really liked that we were having a good time.  Back at the table it was toast after toast with these Khmer guys putting scotch in our glasses of beer.  If I learn anything this year it will be to be more attentive and welcoming to people from other countries.

Nary, Nary and Naret on board
Part of the floating village
Then off to the silk island.  Don't you love the word silk.  When I flew in from Singapore I took Silkair, could there be a smoother ride, I don't think so, and the touch down, hardly felt.  The only problem with silk island was that they didn't "grow" silk there and it wasn't an island.  Hey, don't sweat the small stuff.   We had a Tuesday off and there were ten of us from school that made our way down to the river and then on a rented boat crossing two rivers to the Mekong and then to Koh Dach (Silk Island).  It really was a nice little river trip on a funky little boat. We passed a floating village and lots of fisherman.  We never left sight of the big buildings of Phnom Penh, but when we got off the boat on the far side of the river it was really beautiful rural country.   What they did on Koh Dach was weave in traditional way using hand looms.  Really pretty amazing.  They had no silk worms but imported raw silk from the provinces.  It is spun into thread of different thickness and qualities and then made into fabric.  Just outside of PP there are these really large clothing manufacturing centers where thousands of Cambodians work.  I've passed by them on the bus when they are letting out at 6pm and wondered what the working conditions are and how the workers, looks like mostly young women, are treated.  Well, the women on silk island were all crafts women and took real pride in what they did.   We tried our hand at using the loom and then all had lunch.  The nationalities sitting down at the table were American, Australian, Polish, Welsh and Cambodian.  Glad we all spoke English.  On the way back we passed this island that has just been connected to Phnom Penh by bridge and the apartment buildings and fancy river side homes show the changes that are coming to this city and country.  For the better or worse?  Just progress I guess.    
Nary working on the loom
Our group surrounded by silk
Leaving Koh Dach
Next on my list of things to do is meeting my brother Eddie in Hong Kong.  Looking forward to seeing him and seeing what that big city is like.


  1. Mike, sounds fabulous! And your pictures are beautiful. Yes, I love the word "silk."

    But you weren't for Raffa??!! Hmmm, we'll have to talk about this when you get home. I never would have suspected.

  2. The Functional Beautiful Kitchen Element

    Here is a modern beautiful kitchen has been designed as the special place for cooking, leading to furniture shop in Phnom Penh
    construction materials
    By this way, this modern kitchen was created with the minimalist and modern kitchen collection named the IT-IS kitchen.
    Moreover, the element of kitchen has been design as modern and edges for the owners, who enjoy with cooking.
    As the designers stated, “State-of-the-art technologies and finely crafted details: tall units with central coplanar sliding doors and a curved tables with differentiated thickness provide excellent design.
    New drawers and deep drawers are in cord lacquer or stainless steel. Their fronts have oblique top edges, patented by Euromobil, for an easy grip. Extractable doors are equipped with a raised back for unparalleled sturdiness”.