Cambodia: Khmer Eats

Cambodian Chicken Dish

Moan Cha Kdov (Cambodian Chicken Dish)

Updated: Thank you Toe for the help on naming the dishes 😀

Let me start first that by saying that I’m no food critic nor a gourmet expert and my cooking skills rank below 5 out 10. But one thing I know is that I do appreciate good food and binge into what I really enjoy. And in any adventure, I always try to be as adventurous with the local dish as well. Cambodia is no exception of course, a taste of Khmer Cuisine is a welcome experience.

But apologies if I forgot the names of some of the dishes. Any help on identifying them would be welcome (help Toe! hehe). Like the dish above is a Khmer chicken dish we ate for lunch at a restaurant near Srah Srang worth USD$ 3. It has that semi mint lemon grass taste and the sauce is a bit on a sweet and sour side.

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Malaysia: Climbing Bukit Tabur

View over Bukit Tabur, also known as Taman Melawati Hills

Jills and lake over Bukit Tabur, also known as Taman Melawati Hills

I have always been a nature person. Given a choice if I’ll hang around a mall or the countryside I’ll definitely choose the latter. With my friend already off back to Singapore by bus yesterday, I’m on my own on my last day in Kuala Lumpur. So what am I to do on this city of skyscrapers and railways before I fly out by night? I’ve already explored the Mini-forest at Bukit Nanas near the Menara Tower and been around the malls and parks in the city. So very early in the morning I went to the nearest LRT, bought a ticket and took the first train to Wangsa Maju station since I decided to go a bit out of town to climb Bukit Tabur in Taman Melawati.

View of the serene lake which is really a big Dam

View of the serene lake which is really a big Dam

Before I went on my trip, I researched around where I could find a nice nature tripping escape out of the city. There are lot actually around Malaysia, but most would take at least 3 days on which I have no luxury at the moment. Then I stumbled on some photo groups and individuals who were raving about their sunrise pictures at a place called Bukit Tabur which is only 30 minutes away from the city. So I researched more and found some bits and pieces of information and asked around as well. The place is not really a tourist spot so you won’t find it in any guide books around. So here am I again, going to another off-the-beaten path, riding on the train, armed only with a few notes and information, I was wondering if I’ll be able to climb the place or find it at all. It always give me a chilling feeling traveling to an unknown place not certain of what I’ll found. I remember my first lonely planet travel to Sagada on an unconventional means years ago, I felt a combination of fear and anticipation like now. I guess adventures are like that, you always start of with a cold feet, but once you step a foot forward, it makes all the difference and you move on.

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Cambodia: Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat’s famous sunrise

Angkor Wat’s famous sunrise

I think most people already know that Angkor Wat is one of the most important structures in the world. Since Cambodia finally cleared itself of its land mines and opened itself up for tourism, it gave a lot of people from around the world a chance to finally see this UNESCO World Heritage Site which entranced a lot of people since its discovery. It has been used as a setting for some movies like Lara Croft’s Tomb Raider adventures in Angkor Thom and the profound whispers of Chow Mo-wan in a hole at one of the walls at Angkor Wat in the film In The Mood for Love by Wong Kar-wai, which piqued a lot more interest to the general movie going public. Personally, being a fan of places with scenic ruins overflowing with history, Angkor Wat placed as one of my dream destinations (along with Maccu Picchu). And it has been great that I finally had the chance to walk these hallowed corridors whose walls echo stories withstanding throughout time.

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Malaysia: The Petronas Twin Towers

Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers

Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers

I’m bit tired right now to do a full featured detailed post so I hope this photo essay of Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Twin Towers would do for now. The Petronas Towers used to be the tallest structure in the world until 2004. I guess this is also one of the most photographed structure in Malaysia. So capturing another angle of this tower would be somewhat a challenge. This is also one of those times I wish I had a wider angle lens with me.

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Cambodia: A visit to a floating village

Paddling through Chong Khneas in Tonle Sap

Paddling through Chong Kneas in Tonle Sap

For those who may have noticed, most of my travel trails covers a lot of UNESCO sites. I’m pretty sure you can never go wrong visiting one of their sites listed on their heritage list. In Cambodia, the Angkor Archaeological Park is not the sole UNESCO site in the area, nearby is the presence of a Great Lake, which helped the kingdom of Angkor Build their impressive structures and empire akin to how the Nile River build the Pyramids and the empire in Egypt. Tonle Sap, which means Large Fresh Water Lake, is the largest lake in South East Asia and was declared a UNESCO biosphere back in 1997. So a visit to Cambodia wouldn’t be complete without having visited this very important site and take a glimpse of life by this great lake.

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Cambodia: Exploring Angkor Thom

The inner wall of the Terrace of the Leper King

The inner wall of the Terrace of the Leper King

After checking out the impressive Temple of Bayon, the exploration doesn’t end there. Angkor Thom, is a vast complex surrounded by high defensive walls with 5 gates, thus the name Thom, meaning Big. When Javayarman VII recaptured Angkorian empire from the Chams in 1181, he did some major empire wide constructions and made Angkor Thom as the new city capital. So aside from Bayon, there are other impressive structures just a walking distance from the center of the complex worth noting. So let’s take a brief look into some of them.

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Cambodia: Angkor Thom’s Bayon

Entering the Great City at Angkor Thom’s South Gate

Entering the Great City at Angkor Thom’s South Gate

We started our first day as early as 5am in the morning. Since Angkor Wat has been getting a lot of tourist lately, I thought that we should avoid the crowds as much as possible. Especially those bus loads of tourist that can easily block your composition view. In this series, I won’t be delving much on the history of each temple as there are a lot of resources in the internet which has detailed information on each temple. What I would focus on more are my favorite temples and my impressions of them. And more importantly the photos. So here we go.

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