Tuesday, March 27, 2012

living the cambodian dream

Pin It look at this, less than a week ago i promised y'all a cambodia update and here i am to make good on that promise!  no more month long hiatuses around these parts my friends.  famous last words, but i'm trying my best!  anyway, enough about me and more about cambodia!  it's AMAZING!  this country is a dream.  there's khmer ruins to satisfy the history nerd in me, there's amazing beaches for the sun worshipper in me (spf 50 for life though!), and best of all there are markets galore to keep the shopaholic in me busy and happy!  the markets here have been a bit of a mixed bag.  interesting fact about cambodia, everything is a delicacy here.  worms, you bet.  snakes, you better believe it.  roaches, once you pop you can't stop.  the first market i experienced in cambodia was in ban lung and it was not quite what i was expecting.  there was a lot of meat there.  most of it mystery meat still on the bone, or hoof, or head.  i could go into more detail but i think i'll spare y'all.  needless to say i didn't take many pictures there.  in fact i lasted about 3 minutes.  the things i do to find these jewels!

cambodia's equivalent of a new york hot dog stand. at least you know what you're getting at this one!  oh, but it's vermin. (image courtesy of nick's pics.)

my next foray into cambodian markets was the centrail market or psar thmei in phnom penh and it was much more successful!  the market is in a beautiful art deco building in the city center and they sell everything you can imagine here but luckily this market was organized into sections so i was able to bypass the mystery meat section and spent most of my time in the, you guessed it, jewelry section.  i didn't find as much to fall in love with here as i did in luang prabang because this market had mostly new pieces and as nice as it was to have everything sectioned off it also meant that i was able to clearly see how often pieces were being repeated.  but the indoor aspect of it was a nice break from the scorching heat outside.  not that i'm complaining, or would ever complain about scorching heat, you know i'm pro endless summer!  unfortunately ryan had to miss out on this market due to a raging case of food poisoning.  remember when i was all this country is a dream?  well as it turns out one person's dream is another's nightmare, sorry ryan!  he got food poisoning from the most innocent looking fried rice at a restaurant that also periodically brought around a buffet of snakes, beetles, and roaches to your table in case a craving struck.  you always need something salty with an ice cold angkor beer ya know?  so ya while ryan was on his deathbed i was pouncing around the market.  again, the things i do to find these jewels!  and again, um sorry ryan!

the central market in phnom penh, as lovely on the outside as it was on the inside.

amazing fashion finds at the central market!  i know i've been out of america for 3 months but i'm going to assume that style squirrel is hot right now.

the jewelry section of the central market, aka the only section that matters.  (image courtesy of asia explorers.)

after phnom penh it was onto siem reap to take in the temples at angkor and yet another market!  the old market, or psar chaa, at siem reap was a mix of produce and spices and souvenirs and knock offs.  luckily i was able to find the very ample dried fruit section and managed to get some bargains there!

the bayon, one of the temples of angkor.  good carving.  any chance of getting those artisans back to work their magic on some jewelry for me?

produce at the market in siem reap.

dried and powdered everything at the central market in siem reap.  (image courtesy of angkor road.)

well cambodia, thanks for the memories, and more importantly the jewelry!  next stop, vietnam!

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