It was a really long day on the bus so this post is about things, Khmer food, and stories that I met at rest stops. And you can read here my story of the first day in Cambodia in case you missed it.
Central Market before the Go
This is the central market in Phnom Penh, I have gone to it very soon to take time going to Siem Reap. It was about 7:30 am and many booths still were not open. So I decided to go around and take a few pictures of this market. There are many things you can buy as gifts or as souvenirs. You can pay by US dollar, Riel (Cambodia currency), or Vietnam Dong. But one thing to remember, you have to bargain with the sellers when buying anything because they raise the price quite highly (I think you can pay about 50 – 60% from what they say).
The First Rest Stop
After visiting the market, I put my ass back on the bus seat and went to the first rest stop, a town named Skuon or famous for the nickname Spiderville. It’s quite famous with tourists because it’s on the way from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, so missing it won’t make your tour full when visiting this country. At Spiderville, obviously, they have very unique and special foods of Cambodia, fried spiders, and also other bug foods. If you want to enjoy it, it’s about VND 10,000, or $0.5 USD. Some people tell that spider meat is delicious and the taste is like crab meat. But I’m sure that I don’t want to eat those.
At the market, they also have really good boiled eggs, which I can eat too, in case you are hungry while on a long way.
The Second Rest Stop
It did not take me so much time at the second rest stop. It’s a coffee shop with a nice view of a vast field. Perhaps it’s somewhere around Prey Pros Bridge.
Yet, I haven’t forgotten the Khmer food.
The Third Rest Stop
The third rest stop is Preah Toes Bridge, a historic and traditional monument of Cambodia.
It used to be an important bridge in Cambodia. In the war with Khmer Rouge, this bridge was the main way for suppliers of both sides. A lot of wars happened there as well as a lot of people have fallen. So on the two sides of the bridge, we can see some bowls for incense. Now, people have used another path for moving and keeping this place as a witness of history.
If you notice in the pictures, you can see the Naga sculpture in many places in Cambodia. That symbol is related to an old and traditional story of how this country is made:
Long time ago, the King of Chanla Kingdom had a prince named Kampu. However, after he has been born, the Kingdom was not good. It faced many un-luck situations for years. And the people of Chanla claimed for the appear and raise of the Prince Kampu; they want the Prince dead. Because of the love of the King, he wanted Kampu to go out of the country to reduce the heat of people.
Prince Kampu had went to Indonesia where he met the daughter of Naga – the snake King. The Princess is a charming, smart, gentle but assertive person; that’s why Prince Kampu had loved her in the first sight and wanted to marry her. With the brilliant skills, Prince Kampu had passed all the tough tests of King Naga and marry the princess.
Nevertheless, Prince Kampu is a human and he lives on the ground. In contrast, the princess lives deep down under the water. It was hard for them to live together. Therefore, King Naga had drunk an enormous water to make the land and water closed together. And the land now become Cambodia as the name of the Prince Kampu.
Besides history, at the bridge, there are some people who sell foods which are made from Cambodian palm trees. And trust me, it’s really delicious, unlike the well-known Khmer food – bug and spider.
That was the last rest stop on the way from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap as well as an end for my experience with Khmer food. Hopefully, it’s good to read while I’m writing Day 3 at Cambodia: Siem Reap and Angkor. Let’s go to the next story with a lot of beautiful and imposing images!