Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy Cambodian New Year

We began our first adventure of 2012 on Wednesday, December 28, 2011.   At 7:55 am we left Austin bound for Phnom Penh, Cambodia to visit our good friends, Jimmy and Danine Jacks.

Even though we're not traveling in the RV this time, the trip certainly qualifies as a flight! We were 24+ hours point-to-point, most of the time in the air. Service on Korean Air, which we took from DFW to Phnom Penh, was superb. We had lots of entertainment options, but most of the time chose to read and to follow the plane's progress along our route on the seat-back monitor.   (You can see we were over Alaska when this photo was taken.)

Our route took us much farther north than I had expected. We left DFW at 10:50 am and at 5:15 Austin time were over Anchorage, and then crossing the Bering Sea. We crossed the International Date Line at 7:21 Austin time, then at 1:40 am Austin time we arrived at Seoul Incheon Airport to change planes for Cambodia.  Arriving here at 10:20 pm local time on Thursday, we were met by Jimmy and Dodo, Jimmy and Nine's nephew.  Dodo was a tremendous help to us in clearing Customs and getting us and all our luggage to the apartment.

We were out and about on Friday, traveling by tuk-tuk with Jimmy and Nine to visit Phnom Penh's Phsar Thmey or Central Market.   (The tuk-tuk, a four-seat open carriage pulled by a 100 cc motorbike, is a popular means of transportation in the city.  They, and the hordes of motorbikes, vastly outnumber cars.)

Fresh fish like these, fruits and vegetables and cuts of meat, compete with each other at the market for the shoppers' eye...and purchase.

Lunch Friday was at the lovely Ngon Restaurant, which impressed John with it's sixteen mini-kitchens, each used for the preparation of a different dish.

Dinner, prepared by Saroeun, Jimmy and Nine's cook and housekeeper, was worthy of a five-star restaurant. I can't tell you the names of all the dishes, but they were fantastic!

On Saturday, Paul and his tuk-tuk took us to visit the Russian Market. Unlike Phsar Thmey, which specializes in fresh produce, meats and fish, the Russian Market is known for its clothing, arts and crafts, bulk produce and motorcycle parts.  

As you can see, there are also plenty of options for on-the-spot dining or take-out!

New Year's Eve was a quiet one, but New Year's Day was very lively. Dodo and his wife and daughter arrived for lunch, and later in the afternoon we were joined by Nine's cousin, Neang Nith, her husband and three daughters. It was, indeed, a very happy new year!



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