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Telling the daily stories about the food we eat, the people we meet and the places we see.

Telling the daily stories about the food we eat, the people we meet and the places we see.

Currently travelling through south east asia, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.

Universal Friendship Association For Child's hope

Christian Gustavsson

When we visited the Lolei temple among the Roluos Group just outside the big temples of Angkor, we found something far more interesting then the temple that at the time were under constructions. Right beside the temple the Universal Friendship School for Cambodian Children was located. They support 90 either poor, homeless, orphaned or/and rural children from the age 7-18 with free education. Teaching them subjects like Khmer language, history and culture together with english, mathematics, and computer lessons etc.  Eang Ak, who we met is a 22 years old teacher who works with the children in the days and study at the university in Siem Reap in the evenings. We ask him for how many years he will stay here as a teacher: "Oh, I'll be here all my life", he says. That's what I call commitment.

 

Banlle Vegetarian Restaurant, Siem Reap

Christian Gustavsson

Finding vegan or vegetarian food is very easy in the country of Cambodia, but still it's exciting stumbling across places like the Banlle Restaurant on your travels. A vegetarian restaurant in a classic Khmer house, in the city of Siem Reap, with their own organic garden right behind the restaurant. The food was simple but in the most respectful way to the ingrediens, letting them do the talking.

 Fresh springrolls and a version of Pad Thai with soba noodles

Fresh springrolls and a version of Pad Thai with soba noodles

 This is a good place to enjoy your meal, prepared on the organic vegetables growing 20 meters from where you sit.

This is a good place to enjoy your meal, prepared on the organic vegetables growing 20 meters from where you sit.

 Inspecting the garden... :)

Inspecting the garden... :)

 Organic farming behind the restaurant

Organic farming behind the restaurant

 Organic aubergine almost ready to harvest.

Organic aubergine almost ready to harvest.

Kampot (& Kep), where expats hang out with expats.

Christian Gustavsson

Why go?

Kampot is a quiet, charming, old French city in south east Cambodia with a lot of expats gathered from Europe and the U.S. They run many cafés around here to the level that you sometimes wonder whether you’re in Cambodia or Abbot Kinney Blvd in Los Angeles…  This place is perfect for digital nomads since it’s cheap, the cafés has good Internet connection and if you’re a digital nomad you will find many likeminded here.

A corner near the old market in Kampot.

Buying street food from one of the vendors.

Old houses left from the French colonial time.

Down by the river is a good place to take a stroll in the afternoon. .

Craft beer and sushi rolls by the river walk in Kampot. Flowers is a craft brewery, restaurant and home stay place run by an expat japanese man. Best beer on our journey so far!

Sushi rolls and hand crafted beer from the restaurant "Flowers home brew and sushi" has a food truck down by the river. 

Stay at: Baraca Rooms and Tapas

Because they have really beautiful rooms, right in the center of Kampot. We extended our stay here right away because we liked it so much. Downstairs they have a tapas restaurant as well, which is really worth a try.

Our room at Baraca rooms and tapas where we had our own small balcony.

 We love the colours in the rooms!

We love the colours in the rooms!

 Simple but stylish furnishings. Gin and tonics must be their guests favourite drink because they used old Bombay Sapphire bottles for water bottles in both the  rooms  and  restaurant.

Simple but stylish furnishings. Gin and tonics must be their guests favourite drink because they used old Bombay Sapphire bottles for water bottles in both the rooms and restaurant.

Eat at: Ellie’s café

We loved to have our breakfast at Ellie’s Cafe together with the best coffee and mango shakes in town. Great spot where you can sit in the shade when it’s to hot outside, read a book, work on your computer etc. The room is picturesque and goes well together with the view of the mango tree outside. (Yes! Mango tree! In Kampot you see them everywhere. One of many reasons I love this place)

The interior at Ellie's café.

Good breakfast eggs!

 Eggs, coffee and mango shake, best breakfast there is.

Eggs, coffee and mango shake, best breakfast there is.

 And a good place to get things done.

And a good place to get things done.

Favorite dish: Ecras homemade noodles and dumplings

At this place they make the noodles and dumplings from scratch and you can really tell by the taste. There are only a few dishes to choose from, but pick any and you won’t get disappointed. All though the soup with dumpling became my favorite…

 Fried vegetarian dumplings with chili sauce at Ecrans Noodles and Dumplings.

Fried vegetarian dumplings with chili sauce at Ecrans Noodles and Dumplings.

Don’t miss out on: Crab market in Kep

Ok. This is the real deal. If you make it to Kampot, make sure you go to the crab market in Kep. It’s only 20 minutes by car and to rent a scooter to get there is a very good idea.  The crab season for the biggest, best crabs are in October/November but it is really worth a go whenever.

Getting the crab cage from the sea just outside the crab market. 

 Fresh Kep crab!

Fresh Kep crab!

Khmer woman returning the cage to the sea. We bought 1 kg fresh crab they cooked for us right away.

First killing the crabs by cutting them in halves.

They prepared the crabs on open fire together with fresh Kampot pepper, lime, leek and tamarind sauce. So delicious!

Fresh green Kampot pepper. A favourite of ours. The taste is pungent, flowery and peppery.

Adding some tamarind sauce...

 Letting the flavours set for a while and it's ready! 

Letting the flavours set for a while and it's ready! 

Khmer woman working in the crab market in Kep.

 You can also buy barbecued fish at the market and enjoy it together with the crab

You can also buy barbecued fish at the market and enjoy it together with the crab

And some grilled squid...

 

Conscious traveling advise:

  •  The railway between Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh is now up running again after some reconstruction. It makes two stops along the way, and Kampot is one of them. (The other stop is Takeo) It’s not the fastest way to travel, but its cheep (We paid 4 $ from Sihanoukville to Kampot which took about 3,5 hours.) and the views of the cambodian countryside along the way are interesting.

Just outside the railway station in Sihanoukville in the sunrise together with a cow.

When we first got there, it all looked closed, we had to walk 100 m down the railway to find someone to buy tickets from :)

 But the train was right on time! We bought the tickets 5 days in advance. The train only does three departures a week, one on friday, saturday and sunday. YOu have to go to the railway station to buy the tickets.

But the train was right on time! We bought the tickets 5 days in advance. The train only does three departures a week, one on friday, saturday and sunday. YOu have to go to the railway station to buy the tickets.

 Beautiful morning and sunrise at the railway station in Sihanoukville.

Beautiful morning and sunrise at the railway station in Sihanoukville.

Related links to Kampot & Kep