Monday, 25 January 2010
The Phnom-enal Penh night market of Psar Chaa.
What better introduction to Phnom penh than strolling alongside the Tonle Sap? Observing the nifty motorbikes interweaving between the tuk tuks, buses and cars was slightly hair raising, but we think that they know what they're doing. We felt well received as we saw the Union Jack waving in amongst several other flags that spanned the length of the riverside paving.
As we reached the end of the boulevard with its more uptown restaurants, we turned the final corner and found ourselves immersed in real Cambodian life.
In about another half an hour, we noticed the welcoming night markets opening up and they were already teeming with people wanting to browse for gifts or eat something in the pleasant ambience of the cosy food market square! This was new to us! Having decided what may take our fancy, we were given a small plastic tray to put in all of our chosen raw consumables. We eagerly handed the jam-packed tray back to the market wallah and watched as he emptied the contents into a wok ready for shallow frying. Whilst waiting for our pick and mix meal, Simon went to grab a sugar cane juice drink, which was sweet, delicious and quite moreish. Back at the wok, things had come along and in a matter of seconds we were carrying our plate of chicken feet, quail, tofu, breaded prawns, crabs and dim sum like goodies to the communal eating area that covered a large square in the centre of all the surrounding food stalls.
The ground was covered with large mats that were made from palm leaves and we relaxed and enjoyed the pungent aromas wafting from the stalls as we ate. We will definitely consider returning tomorrow!