I spent New Years (that's the solar one) in Phnom Penh where I got to spend a couple of days with Tanner, and his better half Nancy. The first evening, starting at 11:45 PM, Tanner and I went out on the town where we soon found Nick's Bar (that's Nick).
Then we found a place called the Red Fox.
Eventually we found 4 AM, or it found us.
The next day, we went on a great tour of Kingdom Brewery, which eagle-eyed visitors to the Seoul Patch might note I previously identified as perhaps my favorite Cambodian beer. Tour leader was the actual brewmeister, a Brit named Ian.
From there, we went to the FCC (Foreign Correspondents Club), a legendary Phnom Penh watering hole.
For the remainder of the evening, we meandered through downtown roof-top spots waiting for the fireworks. We ended up at Nick's again. At one point, TB and I had a chopstick skills competition which ended in a draw--two peanuts each.
I don't see how we could have had a better time. Sadly, the next morning it became necessary for T & N to jet back to Beijing, and then I checked in at another hotel (nothing against the Mad Monkey...) It was called Riverwalk Guesthouse. "Tuk-tuk driver had no idea where this place is," I wrote in my journal, "even though we went, "You know?" "I know!" at each other. He got directions 4 times. I know we went west and south for a time, when we needed to go north and east. But that's all smoke out of the exhaust pipe now."
I knew I had the right place when the door to the balcony looked like this:
This was no idle boast, as I found when I had dinner at a restaurant on the corner at the end of the next block over:
Speaking of restaurants, here's a pic of two dinners: first, the grilled frog at the monkey-sighting restaurant; below it, my choice at FCC, a dish called Crying Tiger, which was strips of beef rump steak with a spicy chillie sauce and an amazing Kampot pepper sauce.
I mentioned above tuk-tuks, and they have them here as they do in Thailand--in Thailand, they are almost always one piece, but in Cambodia they are a motorcycle with a wagon hitched on. Unlike most motorcycles, they are usually water-cooled, and drivers stop more frequently for water refills than they do for petrol. Anyway, here are some pics (that last one is a family of six):
My thanks to Tanner and Nancy for some of the pics (the better ones, pretty much). Two more posts and then off to Koh Phangan before school starts up again on March 2.