I love Kep. If I were to pick any place here in Cambodia to stay indefinitely, my hands down pick would be Kep. In fact, I have a minor obsession with it, I think we go there almost every month now. It’s easily accessible from Phnom Penh, road is good and takes just about 3-4 hours leisurely driving.
Sure, there are more noted and more popular beaches here in Cambodia but for a lot of reason we prefer having weekends in Kep. We love the quiet, relaxed vibe. It’s not very touristy, has great dining and picnic options. And as my daughter points out, there are plenty of delicious crabs. Truth is, I love this place coz it makes me breathe, the instant we get there I feel like I automatically relax.
The one downside to Kep town is that it doesn’t offer much beach swimming areas. One of the best places to go to is Koh Tunsay (Rabbit Island) where you can enjoy white sand beaches and shallow waters really ideal for swimming. It’s more or less 5 km from Kep and can easily be reached by a boat ride lasting about 20-30 mins.
And here’s some snaps from the last time we went and spent the whole day there.
We booked the boat through out hotel and we paid around $8 per pax for 2-way trip. That also includes a tuk-tuk pickup from the hotel to the boat dock.
All boats we saw were open boats so I was so thankful I had a lot of sunblock with me and a hat for the kiddo. We were also given life vests which was a plus. It was a short, uneventful ride and we were dropped near the beach.
There is not much in terms of facilities but there are a couple of basic guesthouses and mini restaurants. There are plenty of hammocks and shade so its easy to find a place to ‘park’ yourself.
We also had lunch there and ordered seafood from one of the guesthouses. All simply cooked but very very delicious!
grilled squid and shrimp with pepper/lemon sauce
At sundown, the boats are back to take us back to Kep..
Kiddo and I both loved this place as this reminded us of some quiet beaches back home in the Philippines. Beaches with no five star amenities but just tranquil vibe and lots of space to snorkel, swim and have fun.
These places are not glamorous, not posh. But boy! do they serve just some of the best Khmer food I’ve ever tasted. Truth is, most Khmer food in Phnom Penh restaurants are washed out and tempered to cater to tourist-y palates. So if we’re craving real Khmer yumminess, its either we homecook or head over to small restos in the city outskirts.
One of our favorite places is right across the Japanese bridge, small eateries dotting the riverside. We specially love the hammock places! Little huts on stilts, right on the river edge, with mats spread and hammocks (Check out this previous blog post for more photos). Food there is cheap and very very delicious.
Here’s our delicious Khmer lunch the last time we headed over to one of those little hammock houses..
Samlor with Fish Eggs and Young Tamarind Leaves. The kiddo picked this out, she loves fish eggs. I was a skeptic at first (I don’t like fish eggs) but wow! This was a fantastic soup, with just the right amount of sourness. The fish egg actually tasted good and lent a lovely texture.
Steamed Fish with Veggies and Nom Banh Chouk – Hi-ace loves this. Eaten wrap style or fish flaked and mixed with noodles and drizzled with the sweet spicy sauce. Really good, especially with loads of chili.
This is also an entry to Food Trip Friday.
Why am I always late for the party?
Can you imagine its February and I’m just writing my first post for 2014? And my previous post is dated November of last year!! I was lamenting this blogging lapse, when my always sensible husband (who never just rides my emotional outbursts!!!) pointed out that perhaps I’m simply following the lunar calendar!
Ha! Right. The year of the horse just started so I’m all well and good. And this bodes well for a great blogging year. I think. Anyhow, I lost no time redressing my blog with a white and orange-y theme. For some reason I’m liking a bit of orange.
The main reason though I haven’t been writing as much: pregnancy woes. It’s not a complicated pregnancy, I was simply swamped with tiredness that comes with the first trimester. Now that I’m past that, I’m hoping I could catch up.
I have loads to share, we traveled around a bit for the past few months, ate in a lot of restos, took a bunch of photos and I’m hoping I could get right into editing and writing and share them here. Also I’ll be writing up about my experience about being pregnant, pre-natal health care and experiences here in Phnom Penh.
So please do check in soon.
PS. Happy New Year!
No matter how good the food in an adoptive country is, there really are times you’d crave for a taste of home. For me, Filipino food is all about comfort, of being reminded of childhood days, of my family. Thankfully, here in Phnom Penh, there are lots of places to get delicious Pinoy food. One of them is Bistro Lorenzo.
Funny how I scoured my food posts on the blog and realized I haven’t written about Bistro Lorenzo yet considering we have dined there several times already.
Here’s one of the recent food trips there with my good friend Sreisaat. We ordered sizzling sisig, bicol express and halo-halo.
Sisig. Oh wow! This was good. I was on the verge of ordering a beer when I first tasted it. I’ve been craving this for so long, I even tried making it at home, but I always end up with a mess. Lol. So its nice to know, Bistro Lorenzo has an absolutely delicious sisig on their menu.
Bicol Express – after that heavenly sisig, I sort of went right down to earth with this. I’m a Bicolano with a dad who is just a really fantastic cook, so I’m pretty picky when it comes to how Bicol Express should be. This one has really tough meat, it was not spicy (not even hot) and my biggest beef? The coconut cream, it was too watery, malabsay as we say in Bicol. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t taste bad, it was just so so.
Halo-halo. – yes, it looks a bit unappetizing, but don’t let that stop you from digging in. It actually tasted good. And yeah, it satisfied my crazy cravings.
Prices are within $3-$5 per dish range. Servings are meant to be shared usually for 1-2 persons. Previously, I have tried several Bistro Lorenzo dishes and favorites would be fresh lumpia, crispy pata, kare-kare, paksiw na pata and dinuguan. If you’re craving for some Filipino delicacies or maybe have been wanting to give this not so well known cuisine a try, check out Bistro Lorenzo.
#12 E0 St. 306 BKK1 Chamkarmon, Phnom Pen, Phnum Penh, Cambodia
Tel No. 092 867 901
This is also an entry to Food Trip Friday.
Yes, its been a month since my last post. I just realized that yesterday. So what was I up to during that absence?
I went home to the Philippines for a couple of weeks. It was mainly a well deserved break and rest just for me. I also wanted to be with my mom for All Soul’s Day celebration.
Though I did plan to update this blog while there but those plans went right out of the window when it was announced that super typhoon Yolanda was coming. My hometown is in Albay, and one of the places right on the Philippine typhoon ‘highways”. Since we knew this was a super typhoon, we were told to prepare early. It doesn’t matter if it was not going directly to us, but we knew enough about typhoons to be scared and be prepared.
We had to prepare the house. My parents garden and farm, we could not do anything much. We also decided to head over to Manila as soon as possible because we didn’t know what would be the extent of the typhoon damage. It was the right decision coz at least we got to be in Manila for one of my cousin’s wedding and I was also not worrying like crazy about my return flights.
Also, I have recently discovered a really welcome and happy news. I am carrying our second child. Can you imagine I was almost past my 2nd month and I didn’t even notice?! We’ve been hoping for this news for almost 6 years now and we’re just so happy about it. So I had been cutting back on too much desk work and paying attention to myself.
Anyhow, I’m back and will be updating more.
I’m ending this post with an appeal for help for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).
Click on the graphic above and it will take you to Philippine Red Cross Take Action page.
There are lots of places to get pampered here in Phnom Penh. Just take a walk around the riverfront or Boeung Keng Kang I area and you’d see a spa in almost every corner or street. I haven’t settled yet on a favorite place to go for massages so I’m always trying out different places.
One of the many places I’ve tried is Champei Spa along St. 57 (they have another branch somewhere in BKK also). I went there on a whim. I was having some back and shoulder pains and decided to have their Signature Champei Massage.
I actually prefer to go to spas in the mornings and I went to Champei Spa around 10 am. And while they were open for over an hour already, I had to wait a bit because they were still organizing things. Anyway, I waited on their nicely appointed lounge and they served me tea.
Photo from a Phnom Penh market stall selling pretty colorful bracelets..
This is an entry to Cambodia Snapshots series and Wordless Wednesday.
Finally done enough fixing behind the scenes to start regularly posting again. Yay! Props to me. For being so slow. Ha! I do have a life offline that takes up most of my time, and its a bad mix with my usual procrastination habits. But here we are, so hooraay!
Today’s Food Trip Friday is something Mexican. Something that has become my favorite here in Phnom Penh.
Mexican Chilaquiles from ALMA Cafe. Crisp corn tortillas smothered in green sauce, topped with cream and cheese; 2 fried eggs and refried beans. Served with coffee, tea or fruit juice. $4. Big serving and very filling. I also ought to mention you just might get too addicted to the green sauce. It’s delicious!
Also, Sreisaat and I have collaborated on a food blog called Phnom Penh Eats, so check out the full story on our dining experience at ALMA CAFE Phnom Penh.